01 Apr 11
So, what is The Weeknd? Hazy R&B with softly-whispered vocals and twinkly synths, often with Beach House samples floating amongst the arrangement. Whoop-de-doo. Did I mention Pitchfork likes it? Yeah, now you’re interested, you cock-sucking hipster slut, you.
Anyway, although for the majority of the noughties the idea that you could either a) like UNDERGROUND RADICAL ALTERNATIVE INDIE MUSIC or b) like R&B and rap and country and nothing in between seemed pretty prevelant, as of late we have seen a large tidal wave of musicians who love Beyoncé as much as they do Grizzly Bear wash over our plebeian heads, and The Weeknd are definitely widing that wave. On a surfboard made of cynical trend-hopping and shit.
At best, it is a flimsy companion.
‘The Party & The After Party’ starts well. Generic, but nice. Then the vocals drop, described quite aptly by a friend as ‘Backstreet Boys meets Savage Garden’, you start to wonder what exactly discerns this from the Top 40. As the perennial underdogs, indie kids have often held the lyrical highground, arguing that songs about unrequited crushes and the scene itself are vastly superior to songs about ‘bitches, dolla and hoes’. The Weeknd throw that tried and tested formula away and instead sing about… you guessed it! ‘Bitches, dolla and hoes’. The music? Haven’t you already listened? It’s kind of twinkly and nice and I guess they’re influenced by The xx but I don’t even know anymore. Listen to How To Dress Well instead.
Liam (AKA closed-minded indie purist motherfucker)