Albums to watch

Kiss Land

The Weeknd

Kiss Land

Major label debut, following his highly-lauded trio of mixtape releases, from Toronto R&B singer-songwriter and producer Abel Tesfaye, with just one guest appearance, from Drake

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Republic / XO
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    It is fitting that he considers this LP his proper debut. Everything you heard before? That was the practice round. This is the real deal
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  2. 8.4 |   Billboard

    The LP isn't a rehash of his mixtape series, but then again, it isn't a departure either; it allows listeners to refamilairize themselves with the Weeknd's aesthetic, which was striking and singular to begin with
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  3. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    He pulls no punches, and while some of it is for the boudoir, some is an emotional exposé, some is traditional R&B fare, some is avante-garde compositions – and it’s all fantastic
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  4. 8.0 |   The Observer

    A seductive layering of glittering, MOR surfaces, ambient textures and a deep, aching undertow
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  5. 8.0 |   NME

    A fascinating record, Tesfaye defying reservations with the self-absorption of a madman
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  6. 8.0 |   Clash

    He’s managed to transcend his previous efforts via the scaling up the sonics and simply maintaining the quality of this excellent record
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  7. 8.0 |   Mojo

    A formidably complete aesthetic. Print edition only

  8. 8.0 |   Fact

    Ultimately the genius of Kiss Land‘s production lies in its ability to literalise Tesfaye’s fractured state of mind
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  9. 7.0 |   Spin

    Kiss Land plays like a more considered, better-mastered continuation of Echoes of Silence, not anything dramatically different
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  10. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Tesfaye will almost certainly make a bigger, better record soon. For now, Kiss Land works fine as one of the year’s most fearless pop releases
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  11. 6.5 |   The 405

    It's confident, but pretty underwhelming with ideas that aren't quite fully articulated or tactile, leaving the listener in the dark - but not the dark he wants
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  12. 6.2 |   Pitchfork

    While Kiss Land creates an immersive atmosphere, it rarely feels grounded with a sense of place
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  13. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    It’s the starkness and menace of the overall mood that really strikes a note
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  14. 6.0 |   No Ripcord

    While this leap into the big leagues proves that he’s still very much a rare talent, it unfortunately seems that genuine inspiration is even rarer
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  15. 5.0 |   All Music

    For those who aren't as easily drawn into Tesfaye's world, this will seem roughly as insufferable and as bleakly aimless as the earlier material
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  16. 5.0 |   PopMatters

    Without the cohesive vision of a producer like Kavinsky or Illangelo, the Weeknd can’t seem to see past his own navel
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  17. 4.0 |   Slant Magazine

    A musically static album that's also disturbingly backward on gender issues, with a sustained focus on degradation that no longer seems anything but vile
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  18. 4.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Kiss Land follows in the lethargic steps of 2012's Trilogy, but the pace is slower, songwriting thinner and vision more bloodshot
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  19. 4.0 |   The Guardian

    He doesn't so much gaze at his navel as have a stare-out contest with it, and it's often repellent
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  20. 4.0 |   The Independent

    Leaves you wondering what has happened to this man's soul
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