The Weeknd’s third mixtape proves his talent


Echoes of Silence certifies the singer’s place in the music world.

By By: Josh Samson, Arts Editor

It’s unnatural in this age’s music industry to find a young, talented artist who is able to independently create a masterpiece that changes the face of popular music and seems to head towards getting a “classic” title in the future. It’s even harder to find an artist who can do it three times.

With The Weeknd’s third mixtape Echoes of Silence, he concludes his debut mixtape trilogy by thoroughly establishing himself as the new face of modern R&B and a force to be reckoned with among up-and-coming singers around the world.

With a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana,” The Weeknd opens up his mixtape with flawless production and with all tracks lasting around four minutes. “Montreal” and “Outside” both detail his troubles with previous girlfriends who didn’t understand his inner needs for comfort and his ability to seduce new girls in an attempt to fill that void.

The Weeknd displays his most creative artistry on “Initiation,” a track about convincing a drugged girl to sleep with his entire crew in order to get closer to him. Using pitch modulation to mimic the effects of simultaneously abusing multiple drugs, The Weeknd’s crooning gets turned into both deeper and lighter voices to create the darker mood and scary tones that perfectly turn the song from a twisted tale to a sonic masterpiece.

Creating the mood for “Initiation,” The Weeknd sets the scene for the song with his preceding track “XO/The Host,” which modulates the song into a different key using a minor chord that creates the dark effects in the following song.

Trying to explain the situation in “Initiation,” The Weeknd tells the woman that “You said you want me/But I remember who you are,” indicating that she is actually a woman from his past and he is putting her through this test in order to get revenge for her previous actions.

The mixtape’s standout track, “Same Old Song,” expresses The Weeknd’s inner thoughts, as he proclaims “Baby I been alone for almost all my life.” The song is about The Weeknd’s refusal to change for any girl that comes across his path, as the loneliness he experienced throughout his life prevents him from trusting anyone. The inclusion of rap group Three 6

Mafia member Juicy J’s closing words on the track are both surprising and confounding to the ears, as Juicy J’s ignorance juxtaposes itself beautifully with the introspective track.

The remaining tracks on Echoes of Silence are primarily piano-based, as The Weeknd sings about not being afraid of hitting rock bottom on “The Fall,” criticizing woman for only loving his potential in “Next,” and loneliness after breaking up with a lover on the mixtape’s title track.

Along with his work on Drake’s sophomore album Take Care, The Weeknd has become one of the most-respected and fastest-growing faces of underground music. His angelic voice makes the listener sympathize with his darkest lyrics even more than they would usually. As the world prepares for his debut album in 2012, these three mixtapes give the singer enough of a catalogue to go against the biggest names in R&B, and Echoes of Silence turns The Weeknd in the right direction to be the best new artist in 2012’s music industry.