Review: The Weeknd's "Kiss Land"

 
83%

Editor rating

Golden: 4 Broken: 0
Unanimous

Audience rating

230 votes
92%
Review: The Weeknd's "Kiss Land"

Editor Rating

80%
Chris Richburg

The Weeknd doesn't disappoint.

The Weeknd clocks in with a seductive, reflective follow up to "Trilogy" that doesn’t disappoint.
87
8
85%
Rose Lilah

This shit's a movie.

Although the sound on Kiss Land isn’t exactly what I fell in love with on House Of Balloons, it still has that dark, drug-addled and cinematic feeling .The luscious production matches Abel's usual subjects of girls, drugs, (and more recently) fame.
81
7
87%

A Sonic Melodic Orgasm

The subject matter has maintained familiar tropes, but Abel's sound has matured. Brooding 80s synth is smattered throughout this dark journey. Devoid of radio hits, yet filled with enthralling musical trysts.
79
11
78%
Trevor Smith

A welcome departure

"HOB" established a distinctive mood and persona which had the luxury of being further developed in its sequels. "Kiss Land" is an intriguing and sometimes daring move into a new chapter, which feels slightly less complete, but more human.
31
27

Audience Rating

How do you rate this album/mixtape? Very Hottttt Hottttt Meh... Not feeling it Make it stop!  

The Weeknd clocks in with a seductive, reflective follow up to "Trilogy" that doesn’t disappoint.

Fame is a helluva drug for any celebrity. For some, it's a way of giving voice to a worthy cause. For others, it's a license to do and say whatever they feel or pursue any artistic path they choose. With The Weeknd, fame could be downright scary.

Musically, The Weeknd is still on his game with Kiss Land, an album that provides an eclectic soundtrack for the bedroom as well as a glimpse at how the Canadian soul stirrer may be coping with the exposure he's received since capturing the public eye with his major label debut/mixtape compilation, Trilogy. To hear him tell it in a recent interview with Complex, "Kiss Land is like a horror movie."

All fear aside, The Weeknd seems to be OK as he drowns his issues in sexual escapades with strippers and groupies. Check out "Live For" and the singer outlines the upswing of being who he is. That view is echoed by Drake, who puts his two cents in on the lifestyles of the rich and infamous.

"This the shit I live for, with the people I die for. This is shit you can't fake dog. This is shit you need God for," Drizzy rhymes.

While perks are good, there's a bit of sadness that accompanies the music. After all, nothing comes without sacrifice in Kiss Land. "I went from staring at the same four walls for 21 years to seeing the whole world in just 12 months. Been gone so long I might've just found God. Well probably not if I keep my habits up," The Weeknd relays on the title track as he thinks about the home he bought-- one he admits to seeing only twice this year.

Overall, Kiss Land is a solid offering from The Weeknd. Where Trilogy introduced a man on his way to the spotlight, the follow up serves as the consequence of that man getting exactly what he wants. For better or worse. Be careful what you wish for. "I been flying around the world. I've been killing these shows. But I'm always getting high because my confidence is low," Abel Tesfaye sings on "Love in the Sky" while keeping his honesty intact over a seductive beat. "And I'm always in a rush. Ain't no time to fuck slow. And even if I try, that's not something I would know. But I'm sure to make you cum two or three times in a row."

The moody backdrop on tracks like "Professional," "Adaptation" and "Tears in the Rain" feel like you're watching an old movie where the hero is caught up in episode after episode of sex, drugs and more sex. Undoubtedly Tesfaye is talking about himself in some (or all) of his Kiss Land escapades. Perhaps that's the scariest thing about this Weeknd "horror movie." No matter what, Abel Tesfaye has already overcome. Good music + something to think on = a great escape to another place.

Welcome to Kiss Land. What do you have to say about The Weeknd's new destination?

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