Marking the first commercial release from Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, Trilogy compiles the triptych of mixtapes released during a mercurial spurt in 2011. In essence, the set is repackaging material which has long been freely available. In that sense, Trilogy’s greatest triumph is its avoidance of cynicism. Tracks have been remastered, a bonus song supplements each respective disc, and only a singular concession has been made in terms of sampling rights (Aayliah’s Rock The Boat is no longer present on What You Need). It’s more fan-service than pandering to the uninitiated.
House Of Balloons, the first instalment of the trilogy, still holds up as the strongest. There was a small degree of diminishing return with the subsequent initial releases of Thursday and Echoes Of Silence, but this aspect is diminished when presented as a holistic package of a remarkable oeuvre.
The Weekend opens Echoes Of Silence by achieving the impossible – superiorly covering MJ’s Dirty Diana with D.D. Jackson’s misogynistic paranoia is transposed into something resembling pussy-fatigue. It’s also a showcase of Tesfaye’s capability to sing his heart out like a motherfucker, sounding eerily like the King Of Pop himself.
Academy Award-winner Juicy J sums it up in the declaration during in the spoken word coda of Same Old Song – “Listen to that shit man, The Weeknd music make ladies’ panties get wet.”
A resolute toast to a remarkable 2011, the stage is now set in 2013 for The Weeknd’s first official studio LP.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Best Track: The Morning
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Take Care DRAKE, Kaleidoscope Dreams MIGUEL
In A Word: xo