The Weeknd - Echoes Of Silence

The artily debauched Toronto R&B project the Weeknd promised us three mixtapes this year, and they just got it in under the wire. We’d already heard the boundary-shattering debut House Of Balloons and the still-pretty-great follow-up Thursday, and now they’ve come through with the much-awaited third installment of that trilogy, posting the new Echoes Of Silence around midnight last night.

The new tape opens with “D.D.,” a spacey take on Michael Jackson’s sex-paranoia anthem “Dirty Diana.” It also features “The Fall,” produced by fellow man of the moment Clams Casino. Download both of those tracks below.

Grab Echoes Of Silence at the Weeknd’s website.

Comments (37)
  1. I was worried this wasn’t going to happen! It was a late night surprise from the OVOXO crew, indeed. Time to put an asterisk next to my year-end list…

  2. I don’t know. I mean, it’s still good, but there was something about House of Balloons that he just can’t seem to replicate. The consistent atmosphere. The perfectly creepy lyrics. I can’t stop listening to it after all these months. There’s just something missing from these last two mixtapes.

    • I agree completely.

    • I agree completely… as well

      • There was a naughty seediness to ‘House,’ a dirty air about it like rubber-neckin on a highway while you’re passing a wrecked car. I agree with ya as well. This ones lettin the pop come in and it seems like his popularity is warping what he originally set out to do

        • I’d say that’s a fair assessment. It’s the nature of the beast sometimes. Of course, putting out 3 essentially full length albums in the span of one year is going to have an effect on quality 9 times out of 10. I’d like to see what he can do with more time in between releases. Maybe he can still surprise us.

        • I don’t think any of us can claim to know what these guys “originally set out to do.” You may have projected a trajectory for them based on their first album, but just because they haven’t followed that trajectory doesn’t necessarily mean that their goals have been warped. It might just mean that you were wrong. We don’t have much in the way of interviews or windows into the inner-workings of this project–but it definitely sounds like they had set out to do a trilogy from the beginning, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they had some concept of a creative arc planned from the get go: the first album is the introduction and had to be the strongest because, let’s be honest, if House Of Balloons hadn’t gotten attention there would be no guarantee that anyone else would be anticipating the next two. HoB also had to define the aesthetic of the project, and I think that’s why it’s still the favorite: it best represents the vibe of The Weeknd. The second one is the one where they could take the most risks as long as they delivered on the first one and made a satisfying third–and Thursday was the riskiest, perhaps the least satisfying, but important because they proved they could expand the sound into new areas: drum n bass, doomy riffs, etc. Echoes of Silence takes the vibe of HoB and Thursday’s willingness to experiment, and cranks the pop element. I think it’s wonderful. The production is fantastic. Opening with an MJ cover is fucking ballsy and he kills it. XO/The Host and Initiation are a perfect centerpiece. I think it’s almost as good as House of Balloons, and I may even come to love it more (I’m a sucker for great pop, and frankly I don’t want to hear House of Balloons part 2, I want to hear progression even if some missteps come along with it), but most importantly, it makes me really excited to see what they can do on a full-length with the budget I would imagine they could pull with the deals they must be fielding after essentially coming out of nowhere and owning 2011.

          I could be wrong, though. The point is: we should not presume to know what they “set out to do.”

          • Yeah, what this guy said. Good job.

          • Perfectly said. It certainly feels like they had the arc of the trilogy planned all along. To me it feels like the mixtapes tell the course of a week, from the post party haze of HoB, through the comedown and recovery of Thursday up to the next weekend with Echoes of Silence. Of course I’m probably completely wrong but that’s how I hear it.

  3. Anyone else having difficulty downloading track 4?

  4. I still haven’t spent much time with it, but I’d say this is the 2nd best of his mixtapes. Much more focussed than the sometimes messy “Thursday”, with stronger songs, but I don’t think this was ever going to blow me away like “House of Balloons” did, I don’t think it ever could. More than anything I’m thankful to have it, at best I thought they’d pushed it back to next year and I feared it had been canned completely.

  5. Disagree. I think they felt they needed to put this out and it could use a lot of work. The MJ cover is the best thing happening on here. I feel like Abel is on auto-pilot with this one; it sounds like he was handed some beats and is basically just improvising over them. The song writing has really dropped off here. I love the Weeknd and I think they can put out an album that is as good as HoB or maybe even better but I’m not even sure if this is as good as Thursday which was pretty spotty.

  6. Since I’m working, what’s the concensus? If it’s better than “Thursday” I’ll give it a go.

    • I’d say it’s definitely better than Thursday. More focussed, it feels very well structured in the same way HoB was, but the production’s thicker and more aggressive.

  7. re homesickalien : I don’t think “the pop is coming in” here at all unless by that you mean they’re getting lazy and uninventive with song structure…but actually I think what this collection of songs is missing more than anything else are the hooks, the powerful melodies, the catchiness…that’s why House of Balloons was son good. Actually this album is by far the most lecherous/creepy/fucked up one, which would make a lot more sense of the music could support it…

    re Michael, I think you should give it a go either way. It’s a little too soon for me to definitively say it is or isn’t as good or better than Thursday but right now I’m feeling kinda let down. You should still listen though the album though, it’s about 45 minutes, it’s fairly quick although it felt slow to me (too many downbeat songs without much going on).

  8. I think it is 100% better than Thursday. Nothing will ever be better than HOB, but this is trying really hard so far. Listen to Same Old Song, and tell me theres no hook there. Are the hooks as obvious as House of Balloons? No. But he doesn’t want them to be. House of Balloons was the first entry, the mainstream pop record, Thursday was the not as great but still good artistic detour. Echoes of Silence is the perfect meshing of those 2. Accesible experimentation. At first i thought he was just remixing Dirty Diana, then something happened with his voice to make me realize it was actually him and not MJ. This dude can saaaaaang. I listene d to Thursday like once and was done. I can already tell i will be coming back to this mix for repeat listens.

    • Give Thursday some time. Insanely underrated. It’s certainly not as immediate as House Of Balloons, sure. But it’s still a pretty fantastic album and it’s sort of unfair that people seem to have written it off so quickly. I get it that HOB came out of nowhere and The Weeknd can’t replicate that initial surprise, but that shouldn’t detract from some pretty great music.

  9. “XO” is now my favorite Weeknd track.

    “Echoes of Silence” has a tone of finality throughout, a sense of completion. The lyrics seem to be forward looking to the future of the Weeknd since they’re now officially huge. I think it’s a very apt and fitting end to the Balloon Trilogy.

  10. The only problem I have with The Weeknd is that all his songs seem to run together to me. I can never remember the songs names even after I listen to them for a while.
    but maybe thats just me

    • I agree with you there, especially on Thursday. That doesn’t make it bad music though. Myself and many others I’ve talked to bring up the fact that Bon Iver’s cd this year felt like that; it’s great, but you can’t really differ the songs besides maybe Perth and Holocene. I think this is the middle mixtape quality-wise, but to expect an artist to put out one terrific and two good ep’s in one year is a lot. The Weeknd did it.

    • That’s why I think “Thursday” is the weakest of the trilogy. I knew I was enjoying it the first few times I listened to it, but nothing reached out and grabbed me like “House of Balloons” did. I think this one isn’t as immediate as HoB, barring Initiation and XO, but it has a very intriguing quality that makes you want to keep listening.

  11. Check out this In-Depth Analysis of T Echoes of Silence:

  12. I love the aesthetic of the Weeknd, I really do. The dark, drugged-out haziness. The sexual innuendo… shit, not even innuendo, just plain dirty sex. The production is incredible. That being said, I can’t stand the fuckin’ R & B singing. It’s a genre that has an immediate repulsion for me, like country-pop. The second I hear that style of singing I felt my last meal crawling up my throat. I don’t understand this new obsession with R & B style singing. Christ, if you told Abel he couldn’t use the word “baby”in a song he’d be fucked. He’d have two and half minute songs. Don’t get me wrong, the talent is there. But THAT singing. Jesus. I hope this fad passes soon. Until then I ‘ll just play Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine’ for the dark, claustrophobic, bad-ass tunes. And trust me, nothing The Weeknd has done holds a single candle to “Mezzanine.” Oh yeah, and the last third of “Glass Table Girls” is easily the best thing he’s done.

    • To summarize: “This is an R&B artist, and I don’t like it because I don’t like R&B.”

    • I used to hate all R&B until I heard The Weeknd, come and join me on the dark side. Surely it can’t be that hard to bite the bullet and admit that this is R&B that is actually quite good? I mean, The Weeknd is the same as Chris Brown in the way that Titus Andronicus are the same as [Insert shitty rock band here].

  13. “Outside” actually became one of my favorite songs of the year from the first listen.

  14. Try here for individual tracks:

    I think the “/” in the song title of Track 4 is throwing Windows off.

  15. Came down with my final decision: The Weeknd are one-album wonders. They are Interpol.

    Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good songs spread throughout Thursday and Echoes of Silence (just as Antics and Our Love to Admire had some good songs), but I listen to albums rather than songs, so poo on the Weeknd.

    • Ashworth – we meet again…

      A) Echoes is very nearly as good as HoB (I would even say more consistent as an entire album)
      B) Antics is better than Bright Lights. This is an entirely objective statement.

      Your move.

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