The weight of the Internet continues to squash that of the major label companies into submission as artists like Kendrick Lamar have taken to digital venues as an avenue for releasing their product. Early 2011 saw the release of the critically acclaimed free release House of Balloons, the baby of tortured artist Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. With two additional releases promised before the year is complete, The Weeknd unleashes the subsequent release titled Thursday, his website collapsing from the sheer anticipation from fans. Thursday revolves around a central narrative involving a woman and her relationship with The Weeknd, specifically targeted on Thursday. Chronicled throughout is the duo’s earliest meeting, their fateful (and inevitable) farewell and their foray of sexual conquests, propelled by a wide assortment of drugs including ecstasy, codeine and more.
‘Lonely Star’ introduces a striking young woman, full of unbridled potential yet weighed down by the fallacies that come along with celebrity. The disengaged crooner echoes these sentiments while seductively pulling her into his world, like a moth to a flame. The titular track, backed by tender kicks, is absolutely orgasmic. Tesfaye’s airy vocals unearth circumstances revolving the secluded relationship between the twosome: his devotion to her extends no further than beyond this particular day, the closest to the weekend *insert irony*. The dual narratives ‘The Birds’ foretells of the unavoidable transformation of their relationship, when the woman’s adoration turns to love for The Weeknd and eventually, addiction. He cautiously advises her “Don’t you fall in love / Don’t make me make you fall in love with a n—a like me”. The tribal drums on the initial chapter warn of the lifeless carcass to come on the Martina Topley-sampling sequel.
To accuse Thursday of being a diluted doppelganger of its predecessor would be foolish as music is created to be probed. While it does not feature polarizing records like ‘What You Need’ and ‘Coming Down’ as Balloons did,Thursday does offer a more focused illustration of The Weeknd’s mysterious undertones and increased experimentation production-wise. Take ‘Rolling Stone’, an expression for smoking marijuana whilst under the influence of ecstasy, which hazily chronicles the murky post-high and allows listeners entry into the darkest caverns of Tesfaye’s mind. He condemns the media’s infatuation with the unknown, foreseeing the descent of his star once the media gets hold of his true character and celebrity reigns supreme. Aligning himself with Drake, who offers a vibrant turn on the codeine- laced ‘The Zone,’ and October’s Very Own can only accelerate the process as Echoes of Silence, the conclusion piece of The Weeknd’s independent puzzle, rapidly approaches.
4 spins (out of 5)