The Best Albums of 2011: #15

The Weeknd: House of Balloons

If Tony! Toni! Tone! recorded an album, while holed up in a studio tripped out on acid, it would sound like House of Balloons.  At its core, House of Balloons is an R&B album. But it really is much more than that.  Released as a free mixtape, the album feels more like a concept album, centered around frontman Abel Tesfay’s love life. Indeed, the lyrics are heavy on sex, drugs, and all other forms of debauchery. But don’t let that stop you; the music is wickedly good. It’s heavy on passion, and there are moments on the album that sound like dream sequences.  Overall, House of Balloons shines, as Tesfay’s vocals are are superb, the production is first-rate, and the feel of the album puts forth something unique.

Select Cuts: High for This, What You Need, Glass Table Girls

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