I’m coming off a horribly shitty day. I’ve been abused by friends, talked shit about, put in the corner and given a virtual timeout, and now I’m so angry I’m seeing spots. My thoughts are so jumbled, I feel like I have to censor myself with every keystroke. I keep backing up and starting over as if I’m trying to compose one lengthy email I’ll never actually send wherein I tell everyone that I have ever had any kind of a beef with to go fuck themselves.
You know that feeling, right?
You probably have go-to songs that you’ll hit up when feeling like you, too, want to blow up the world, some of them played so many times you could recite the words as you sleep. I have my fair share of those songs. A couple of weeks ago, though, they were all suddenly replaced by The Weeknd’s soon-to-be-bigger-than-life song “Wicked Games” from their recently-released free mixtape House of Balloons, a stunning piece of R&B/soul music that came out of nowhere and shattered the glass ceiling of the genre. Since I first laid ears on this song, I feel like it’s taken the upside down parts of my life and put them right side up again. Even if I ended up back in that place, there was some momentary comfort from the act of playing this one song over and over again.
Yeah, I know, every music blog and music publication on the internet has shit themselves about The Weeknd already for weeks. But you? You’re probably so cool you downloaded it the day it was posted to October’s Very Own or maybe the day Drake tweeted about it.
In case you didn’t or you haven’t and you don’t know what The Weeknd is, I’m here to share with you that Toronto’s Abel Tesfaye is the thing of the moment with good reason. And for his part, the previously unknown 20-year-old Tesfaye (backed by the ill beats of Doc Mckinney & Illangelo) seems to have maintained radio silence through it all. The swagger and sadness, the raw honesty and the unbridled highs and lows that come out of the songs on House of Balloons aren’t likely to be the victim of any hyperbole by the press. There’s something about this collection that defies any definition besides, simply put, real.
Who Tesafaye is and what he’s out to do may still be up for debate, but one thing certainly isn’t: there’s an unholy sadness and pain in his voice on this song that takes my pain away. For that, I am thankful today.
[ You can download The Weeknd's mixtape House Of Balloons by clicking here. ]