2013's Kiss Land (XO/Republic Records) is the acclaimed sophomore full-length from Canadian recording artist/producer Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd and the follow-up to his unanimously celebrated platinum-selling 2012 debut, Trilogy. Tapping into that same signature mystique, this second effort is an elegant pastiche of love, longing, and lust set to a futuristic soundtrack of shimmering keys, disruptive synths, and airy atmospherics. It's dark. It's dangerous. It's decidedly sexy. It's The Weeknd.
The Weeknd on the album to Complex: "Kiss Land symbolizes the tour life, but it's a world that I created in my head. Just like House of Balloons symbolizes Toronto and my experiences there, but it's a world that I created. When I think about Kiss Land, I think about a terrifying place. It's a place I've never been to before that I'm very unfamiliar with.
"A lot of it is inspired by filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and Ridley Scott, because they know how to capture fear. That's what Kiss Land is to me, an environment that's just honest fear. I don't know who I am right now and I'm doing all these outlandish things in these settings that I'm not familiar with.
"To me, it's the most terrifying thing ever. So when you hear the screams in the record and you hear all these horror references and you feel scared, listen to the music because I want you to feel what I'm feeling. Kiss Land is like a horror movie."
2. The Town
4. Love In the Sky
5. Belong To the World
6. Live For (feat. Drake)
8. Kiss Land
10. Tears In the Rain