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The Weeknd

Kiss Land


With soul music continuing to seep into the mainstream, it seems all eyes are on Abel Tesfaye. This week, the Canadian crooner behind The Weeknd releases his major label debut, Kiss Land, the long-awaited follow-up to his 2011 mixtape trilogy. Inspired by horror filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and Ridley Scott, the album blends soundtrack theatrics with a strikingly ominous feel. Kiss Land opens with “Professional,” a mellow and synth-backed track that finds Tesfaye quietly cooing lines like, “In a world where your dreams can’t be real, no / Every touch that you sell is a lie.” Vocally, Tesfaye walks the line between pop and R&B — we dare you not to think of MJ when he hits the high notes — and sprinkles provocative lyrics and lovelorn themes throughout the album’s 10 tracks. A sad listen? Yes. But it also makes for the most heartfelt and brutally honest Weeknd record yet. The Weeknd plays the Santa Barbara Bowl Saturday, September 14. Call (805) 962-7411 or visit sbbowl.com for tickets.

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