When: Tue., Oct. 1 2013
THE WEEKND All-night revels that start out carefree like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” can easily curdle into the debauchery and self-loathing of The Weeknd’s “The Party and the After Party.” Just ask its creator, R&B provocateur Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd). While few question Tesfaye’s prodigious talent, there are doubts whether the misogyny and burn-out chronicled in his ground-breaking trilogy of mix-tapes released in 2011 detail a persona he’s adopted, or a shady, druggy autobiography. The lyrics, overtly nihilistic and often joyless, are rendered perversely catchy by meticulous layers of beautifully wasted hip-hop, codeine-slow R&B and alt-rock samples that include punk priestess Siouxsie Sioux. Over all of this floats Tesfaye’s gorgeously airy falsetto which suggests Michael Jackson — if MJ had ever gotten around to admitting how screwed-up he was. Yet Tesfaye’s never been shy of (slightly shaded) confession, as his XO label and logo — hinting at Oxycontin use — attests. Material from the new LP Kiss Land admits a ray of light into Tesfaye’s captivating dirges, and while he hasn’t quite abandoned his cynical worldview, he’s at least acknowledging that every human interaction doesn’t have to be quid quo pro.