The Weeknd Drops His Return of the Jedi

Abel Tesfaye, the louche R&B don/prominent drug consumer that records as The Weeknd, has has the Internet firmly on his jock since he dropped his debut mixtape, House of Balloons, in March of this year. Then came another mixtape, Thursday, and “Crew Love” and “The Ride,” two collaborations from his Toronto pal Drake’s platinum-selling Take Care. But that’s not all for 2011! Last night, The Weeknd released Echoes of Silence, the third installment in the so-called “Balloon Trilogy.” In the finale, Tesfaye brings his yarn to a thrilling conclusion, as the ragtag band of street urchins unite with the Ancient Order of Sea-Birds to unearth the sword of Antiochus and defeat the evil Malarrsak and his army of half-dead pickpockets once and for all. No, just kidding, it’s more songs about sad partying and dysfunctional relationships with women! After a few spins, it’s hard not to appreciate “D.D.,” a — hell yes — surlier “Dirty Diana” cover, as well as “The Fall,” a “can’t take me down” number laced by a woozy beat from steamrolling weirdo-hip-hop producer Clams Casino. There’s also a song called “Montreal,” which is not about poutine.

So what’s next for Abel? A proper debut, right? Like, maybe with a proper tour, and interviews, and some non-blurry promo shots, and maybe some nice songs that your grandmother could listen to? And maybe eventually an appearance on Last Call With Carson Daly? For now, then, sit back, drop Echoes, and continue enjoying the dude’s enigmatic pre-mainstream era.

Download Echoes of Silence at

Filed Under: Drake, Hip Hop-Ology, Music, The-Weeknd

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad