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€14.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
€14.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Republic

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
€26.99

R&B - Released January 1, 2012 | Republic

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, released three free mixtapes, aka albums, in 2011. Trilogy compiles them with remastered sound and adds three new songs. Supported by fellow Toronto native Drake, Tesfaye surfaced that March with House of Balloons, an impressive debut that merged his paradoxical approach -- sweet voice, poisonous words -- with gloomy but entrancing productions, most of which were provided by Illangelo and Doc McKinney. The duo produced the entirety of Thursday, released that August. It offered minor variations on the debut's themes of getting laid and high through plodding, thudding scenes of bleak malevolence. Anyone not magnetized to extended periods of intense wallowing and/or chemically-induced lethargy -- or the idea of experiencing either one of the two states -- could discern that Tesfaye could have used an editor. And then, in December, just after Drake released Take Care, an album featuring a handful of Tesfaye collaborations, Echoes of Silence completed the Weeknd trilogy in an equally excessive fashion. Emboldened by critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fan base, Tesfaye led the set, produced mostly by Illangelo, with a cover of "Dirty Diana," Michael Jackson's unintentionally comical groupie nightmare. Tesfaye not only matched the original's intensity but went so over the top with it that the top was no longer visible. He also continued to find slightly different, occasionally peculiar ways of expressing unapologetically sordid feelings about drugs, partying, drugs, bad girls, drugs, strippers, drugs, good girls gone bad, and drugs -- all of which serve an identical purpose and get the same level of consideration, though "Put that rum down, you don't wanna die tonight" is at least somewhat thoughtful. There are points throughout these works where Tesfaye is distinctively gripping, supplying deadly hooks and somehow singing for his life despite the cold blood flowing through his veins. More often, he needs restraint, as he is prone to repetitious whining that is more young boy than young Keith Sweat. (Check "Same Old Song," 20 percent of which features Tesfaye singing "You're the same old song," over and over, with the final "o" held for several seconds.) Now that he's with a label, he'll hopefully get some kind of filter that enables him to fulfill the promise heard in these 160 minutes of one-dimensional, occasionally exhilarating overindulgence. When this package was released, he was gaining mainstream momentum with appearances on Drake's "Crew Love" and Wiz Khalifa's "Remember You." His potential is as obvious as his lyrics are toxic. ~ Andy Kellman
€1.99

R&B - Released August 1, 2017 | Republic

€6.99€19.99

R&B - Released November 25, 2016 | Republic

The extent of the 2015 Weeknd commercial rebound, symbolized by platinum certifications for Beauty Behind the Madness and all four of its singles, didn't merely embolden Abel Tesfaye. On this follow-up's fourth track, a blithe midtempo cut where Tesfaye takes a swipe at pretenders while boasting about drinking codeine out of one of his trophies, the level of success is a source of amusement. He notes the absurdity in taking a "kids' show" award for "Can't Feel My Face," in which he was "talkin' 'bout a face numbin' off a bag of blow." The track actually lost to Adele's "Hello," but it clearly, somewhat comically, reached an unintended demographic. It comes as no surprise that Tesfaye, on his third proper album, doesn't attempt to optimize the reach of his biggest hit by consciously targeting youngsters. He sings of being a "Starboy" with access to a fleet of sports cars, but he's a "motherfuckin' starboy," one who is 26 years old and proud to observe his woman snort cocaine off his fancy table. While Starboy often reflects an increased opulence in the personal and professional aspects of Tesfaye's life -- from more upscale pronouns to expensive collaborations with the likes of Daft Punk (two) and "Can't Feel My Face" producers Max Martin and Ali Payami (four) -- the dark moments of vulnerability are pitch black. Lines like "I switch up my cup, I kill any pain" could have come from Tesfaye's mixtape debut, yet there are new levels of torment. In "Ordinary Life," he considers driving off a Mulholland Drive cliff, James Dean style, wishing he could swap everything for angel status. It's followed with "Nothing Without You," a ballad of toxic dysfunction. He asks his lover if she'd feel guilty for not answering his call if he happened to die that night. It's not all dread and depravity. There's some sense of joy in a one-night stand, and an echo of "Say Say Say" Michael Jackson, on the Luomo-ish house track "Rockin'." Contrition is shown in the slick retro-modern disco-funk of "A Lonely Night." Ironically enough, in the aching "True Colors," Tesfaye sounds a little insecure about a lover's past. The album's lighter, comparatively sweeter parts -- the Tears for Fears-sampling/Romantics-referencing "Secrets" and the breezy and only slightly devilish "I Feel It Coming" among them -- are all welcome highlights. At 18 tracks, the album is a "contracted edition" playlist toolkit. The songwriting credits list just under 40 composers, and the productions -- the majority of which involve Doc McKinney and/or Cirkut, low-lighted by maneater dance-punk dud "False Alarm" -- are roughly as variable in style as they are in quality. When pared down to its ten best songs, Starboy sounds like Tesfaye's most accomplished work. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released November 25, 2016 | Republic

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Dance - Released November 18, 2016 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Dance - Released November 18, 2016 | Republic

€1.99

Electro - Released November 6, 2015 | Republic

€1.99

Electro - Released November 6, 2015 | Universal Music Division Def Jam Recordings France

€2.49

R&B - Released October 11, 2015 | Republic

R&B - Released August 28, 2015 | Republic

All bets regarding Abel Tesfaye's career arc were off once Trilogy, material previously released at no (financial) cost to the listener, went platinum. For a period after that, it seemed like the singer had peaked just short of pop-star status. His eager congregation pushed Kiss Land, the proper debut, to number two in the U.S., yet none of its singles, not even the one that featured Drake, reached the Hot 100. "Love Me Harder," a duet with labelmate Ariana Grande released in 2014, proved to be a masterstroke. It put Tesfaye in the Top Ten for the first time and began a streak of similarly effective singles that preceded -- and are included on -- Beauty Behind the Madness. "Earned It," a ballad recorded for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, showed that he could adapt to a traditional pop backdrop. That cut a path for "The Hills," in which Tesfaye alleviated his "day one" base with a typically degenerate slow jam, co-produced by Illangelo, that affirmed "When I'm fucked up, that's the real me" while taking the toxic narrative a step further with lines like "Drugs started feelin' like it's decaf." And then "Can't Feel My Face," a sleek slice of retro-modern disco-funk produced by Max Martin and Ali Payami, landed in June 2015. An obvious pop move, it worked -- it went to number one in the U.S. and several other territories. Tesfaye skillfully delivered his biggest hooks as he sang about dependency in that part-anguished, part-euphoric fashion derived from Michael Jackson. Like its advance singles, the rest of Beauty Behind the Madness is R&B and pop as drug-den paella: chemical and sexual abasement, self-loathing, and self-absorbed belligerence over narcotized sludge and less expected moves that peak with the wholly sweet "As You Are" and crest with a big-band diversion on "Losers." Uneventful collaborations with Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, and Lana Del Rey add star power, though the last of that pack contributes to a moment where Tesfaye turns another corner by acknowledging a dead end through the fog, "addicted to a life that's so empty and so cold." The commercial strides are obvious. The creative advancements are less apparent, obstructed by some unappealing measures, but they're in there. ~ Andy Kellman
€18.49
€13.49

R&B - Released August 28, 2015 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res
All bets regarding Abel Tesfaye's career arc were off once Trilogy, material previously released at no (financial) cost to the listener, went platinum. For a period after that, it seemed like the singer had peaked just short of pop-star status. His eager congregation pushed Kiss Land, the proper debut, to number two in the U.S., yet none of its singles, not even the one that featured Drake, reached the Hot 100. "Love Me Harder," a duet with labelmate Ariana Grande released in 2014, proved to be a masterstroke. It put Tesfaye in the Top Ten for the first time and began a streak of similarly effective singles that preceded -- and are included on -- Beauty Behind the Madness. "Earned It," a ballad recorded for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, showed that he could adapt to a traditional pop backdrop. That cut a path for "The Hills," in which Tesfaye alleviated his "day one" base with a typically degenerate slow jam, co-produced by Illangelo, that affirmed "When I'm fucked up, that's the real me" while taking the toxic narrative a step further with lines like "Drugs started feelin' like it's decaf." And then "Can't Feel My Face," a sleek slice of retro-modern disco-funk produced by Max Martin and Ali Payami, landed in June 2015. An obvious pop move, it worked -- it went to number one in the U.S. and several other territories. Tesfaye skillfully delivered his biggest hooks as he sang about dependency in that part-anguished, part-euphoric fashion derived from Michael Jackson. Like its advance singles, the rest of Beauty Behind the Madness is R&B and pop as drug-den paella: chemical and sexual abasement, self-loathing, and self-absorbed belligerence over narcotized sludge and less expected moves that peak with the wholly sweet "As You Are" and crest with a big-band diversion on "Losers." Uneventful collaborations with Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, and Lana Del Rey add star power, though the last of that pack contributes to a moment where Tesfaye turns another corner by acknowledging a dead end through the fog, "addicted to a life that's so empty and so cold." The commercial strides are obvious. The creative advancements are less apparent, obstructed by some unappealing measures, but they're in there. ~ Andy Kellman
€18.49
€13.49

R&B - Released August 28, 2015 | Republic

Hi-Res Distinctions Grammy Awards

R&B - Released August 28, 2015 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.