Updated: Feb 23
The Weeknd's latest release was his Original Mixes from his album House of Balloon which was first released on March 21, 2011. So this marked the 10th Anniversary of the album. Which had created a lot of buzz for him when no-one even knew him around. This is the album that made his career take-off, the secret was, in the era that everyone wanted Fame and Money, The Weeknd just casually dropped this masterpiece onto the world, no one knowing who the artist (was it just a guy/ was it a group) was and just spitting out truth bombs, just being brutally honest about his debauchery filled lifestyle.
People in the Rhythm & Blues industry keep these mixtapes on a pedestal because of the impact the mixtapes had on the industry and the generations moving forward and till date keeps on impacting our lives and pleasuring our ears.
So the House Of Balloon (2021) comes out with 9 tracks (mixtapes had 10 tracks, the left out song is twenty-eight) and their original versions, starting with:
I. HIGH FOR THIS
The mixtapes start with this masterpiece of a song, a bass-heavy song where Able tries convincing a girl to try drugs for the first time and where he is soothing her and making her believe that she needs to high for this and by this means 'sex' in Able's case.
II. WHAT YOU NEED
In this next song, Abel tries to explain to a girl that she is playing too safe and is with the wrong guy and Abel is what she needs. This is a very calm and instrumental song that gives the album the lighter tone which is much needed for the mixtape (did you see what I did with the words xD).
III. HOUSE OF BALLOONS/ GLASS TABLE GIRLS
This song fully indulges you into Abel's lifestyle, in a very up close and personal manner. Abel in the first half of the song sings his brains out, painting a picture of a party where everyone is sad and Abel is trying to convince everyone that the party is actually fun and they are happy here, but in reality, everyone is suffering.
This HOUSE OF BALLOON, which Abel is fantasising about is just a metaphor for depression. When you listen to the lyrics and the mixtapes carefully, then you'll know that the whole mixtape is just a big metaphor for depression. Being trapped inside your mind, looking for an escape but not being able to leave because you're busy trying to convince yourself that you are happy and you are just having fun.
The second half of the song is Glass Table Girls. It is just one drug-induced, heavy and cold-blooded verse. Able just goes off on this part of the track which is a very dark, sinister and bass-heavy instrumental, where he brags about the drugs he is taking.
IV. THE MORNING
This is the song that showcases the morning after the previous night in the House of Balloons/ Glass Table Girls. The morning is a song of hope for Able, it is his time to reflect on the actions of the previous night and make it all right this time, but he is a slave to his tendencies. On this track, Abel is expressing how desperately he wants to get out of this House of Balloons, which he has trapped himself in, also looking back and giving him a chance of redemption but all he does is gets ready to do it all over again, yet not wanting to do it all over again.
V. WICKED GAMES
Abel goes further down the depression hole with Wicked Games (The most popular song on the album). Now Abel has lost confidence in himself and now has turned to prostitution, even after knowing that the relationship would mean nothing serious to him but still goes through with it, just to get a little boost of confidence because he is desperate, lost and very insecure.
VI. THE PARTY & THE AFTER PARTY
This is my favourite song on the album. This is again a two-part song. In the first part of the song, Master Of None by Beach House is kept as the base track with increased speed, on which Abel sings. The delivery and the instrumental was a personal highlight to The Weeknd.
The second half of the song is where the song lyrically shines. He just straight up expresses that he doesn't have any long term prospects with the girl and just wants to have a good time for the night. All he wants is a full euphoric night with the girl. He wants her to give in so that he could pleasure her and take advantage of the night.
VII. COMING DOWN
This song, as you guessed by the title is about coming down. This song tells a story about how Abel forgets about this girl when he is high and only remembers her when he is feeling lonely/ coming down.
VIII. LOFT MUSIC
This is a very sad song, given very upbeat music. This song doesn't have a bridge, hook or a chorus, it's just one entire verse.
IX. THE KNOWING
This song is about the time when Abel's girl cheated on him, which he has done to other girls in the past but this time he is getting a taste of his own medicine. He has ego completely shattered but as he has cheated on this women before so he is feeling no remorse for it.
The story of these mixtapes comes to him in full circle, the pain he has caused all these women came back to him, which is a perfect ending to a story Abel is trying to tell.
THIS IS A MASTERPIECE AND DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE!
Almost 9 years of this groundbreaking mixtape...I miss the old Weeknd, like the dark mysterious melancholy vibe he would give out when nobody knew who he even was... but he would use these pictures of models to remain a mystery. That's what made the Weeknd, the Weeknd. House of Balloons single handily changed my entire music taste and my musical palette. No matter how mainstream and popular he became he'll always be 2011 XO til we Overdose Abel