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Album review: The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence

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When I found out that The Weeknd had - finally - released his third mixtape of the year, I almost fell off my chair in excitement.

Such extreme reactions may not have been universal, but I am by no means the only person who's been waiting for this. Echoes of Silence is the third and final installment in a series of mixtapes, released by a sickeningly talented 21 year old who forces you to question the point of your own unprolific existence.

Ecoes of Silence

For someone who sings so knowledgeably about sex and alcohol and heartbreak and comedowns, it’s a wonder Abel Tesfaye has the time or mental capacity to write songs about it all too. The themes, then, are largely the same as his previous mixtapes – revelations of post-party genre mash up.

But there is a new anxiety in Echoes of Silence, as it slows and speeds up like so many different highs; it is darker and more experimental, but The Weeknd sounds more comfortable than ever blending styles and speeds into a blur of musical altered states.

Tesfaye still has the voice of an angel – a fallen one, presumably – which floats perfectly over his R&B / hip hop / post-dubstep, tripped-out wasteland. As a whole, the mixtape is a mockery of genre, and of anyone trying to pigeonhole it (tried to; failed).

The Weeknd’s previous two mixtapes have been making album-of-the-year lists left, right and centre. Echoes of Silence has been released just too late to make most of these, but this is probably one of the most creative albums to have been released in 2011. This year has seen The Weeknd mature a surprising amount; where he goes from here is anyone's guess, but there are a lot of people watching.

And did I mention it's free?

You've got no excuse. Download it here

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