Unless you have been disconnected from all internet connection for the past several months, you will be familiar with Canadian musician, The Weeknd. The ‘Pitchfork Rap’ artist first rose to prominence when he dropped his nine-song mixtape House of Balloons. This release drew attention from all over, projecting his image across the world, and subsequently scored him a respectable slot on the 2012 Coachella lineup. However, after the release of his other mixtapes Thursday and Echoes of Silence, many fans began to grow concerned that he may be unable to develop as an artist, differing himself from fellow hip hopper Frank Ocean, who took the world by storm earlier this year after the release of his masterpiece Channel Orange
All concerns of this inability to develop as an artist became a reality on 18th October when The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, released the tracklisting for Trilogy. It’s possible that I missed the memo, or should have done further research prior to this announcement, but when I discovered that the title Trilogy took a literal meaning, and was merely a re-release of his aforementioned mixtapes, I was somewhat disappointed. And understandably so were many of his fans. For an artist that has only released three mixtapes/albums, it seems quite premature to already be re-releasing his material. The only addition to the album is three new tracks: Twenty Eight, Valerie, and Til Dawn, which to me seems a bit lazy, and if anything, seems like a ploy by record label Universal Republic to try to make some extra cash.
That aside, there is a reason why The Weeknd is so successful. The high-level production and lyrical content does not go unnoticed, pushing beyond the boundaries of an entire song consisting of ‘Yeahs’ (ahem, Chris Brown) and although he does speak about women, as many do, he does so in an elegant way – regardless of his constant dropping of the n-bomb. I must confess, it is seriously good to get an official release for the three mixtapes. However, for people who are already fans, and have already spent hours devouring the intercalate beatsmanship of Tesfaye, it comes as a slight disappointment.
Regardless of this, the official release may warrant an even larger explosion aside from the consistent stream of booty calls from Pitchfork and NME, and result in true mainstream success, which is fantastic for him, but I’m left unsatisfied. Logistically, the remastering has been completed expertly, accentuating every beat and making it even more of an aural pleasure. But to truly enjoy the album, you have to go beyond the fact that these tracks have all been around for more than a year – and that’s just something I can’t do: pick up your game mate.
Trilogy hits the shelves on 13th November, but for 98% of you, you’ve already got it on your iPods, and have done so for the past few months.