The Weeknd’s new album, Kiss Land, combines vocals reminiscent to that of Michael Jackson’s, with instrumental arrangements that exude sexy. If you want to lie back after a long day of stress and melt into some music without even trying, this could be your jam. But if you want to hear anything more than some sexy slow sounds with deep beats and a smooth man singing about his “women,” then you might want to reconsider.
The problem with Kiss Land is that the entire album is both lyrically and stylistically similar. There is a cohesiveness and solid theme to all of the songs, which is generally a good thing, but this album is so cohesive that the songs almost become redundant. The music is hypnotizing and relaxing, but that might have something to do with the minimal variance in each song. This album focuses on one topic and one topic only: love. (And by “love” I mean sex.) That is not to say that this topic is not important or intriguing to sing about and it’s obviously a big part of his style, but he needs to get more creative if he wants to keep singing about his lust without boring listeners.
The Weeknd’s earlier music, especially his song “High For This” from House of Balloons, had a unique and likeable sound, and his decision to step away from that sound here is confusing. It is apparent that he worked very hard to achieve this new style, but unfortunately his effort doesn’t seem to have made a positive impact on the music. The Weeknd has always stayed true to his somewhat high pitch, but his sudden decision to sound like the King of Pop is questionable and falls a bit short. The uniqueness in the sound he had before was what was so attractive about The Weeknd, so there was no need for him to have changed it.
But it remains that The Weeknd is talented. He knows how to evoke a certain emotion that a lot of music cannot seem to capture. His style is unique and his voice reels you in with its sexiness. I think The Weeknd created this album in the hopes to
reconstruct his image just a little bit. Whether it was worth it, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I will continue to support the “old” Weeknd. It’s going to take me some time to get use to the new one.