House of Balloons

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 223 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 223

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  1. Aug 9, 2016
    8
    8.5 eight point five
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  2. Feb 7, 2016
    10
    Easily his best project. I wish his latest album went back to his roots- to this more alternative dark R&B sound rather than Pop-R&B, although his latest album is great too and features one of my favorite songs of him, "Acquainted". All songs on this album are very strong. My favorite is possibly the title track.
  3. Aug 31, 2015
    10
    The encapsulation of a perfect album. The album tells a story, albeit a very dark one. He's a man, he loves his drugs, he love his women, and he loves it when the two mix. That creates many interesting scenarios for the songs in this album. The best album by the Weeknd and might be that way for some time, though Echose of Silence comes close.

    BEST: The Morning, High for This, House of
    The encapsulation of a perfect album. The album tells a story, albeit a very dark one. He's a man, he loves his drugs, he love his women, and he loves it when the two mix. That creates many interesting scenarios for the songs in this album. The best album by the Weeknd and might be that way for some time, though Echose of Silence comes close.

    BEST: The Morning, High for This, House of Balloons/Glass table Girls, THE KNOWING!!
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  4. May 27, 2015
    10
    First time listening to this type of music, and it's really good. Not disappointed at all and love this mixtape. The reason I gave it a 8 is the lyrics. some are basic, trashy, shallow and make me feel uncomfortable.
  5. Dec 8, 2014
    8
    Haunting and chilling would be the first two things that come to mind for The Weeknd's first piece of work, the mixtape "House of Balloons." This absolutely does not mean this is a pass-over of an album; it actually means the complete opposite. Not since "So Far Gone" from Drake in 2009 have I heard a mixtape this moody and atmospheric, yet this record is far different from Drake'sHaunting and chilling would be the first two things that come to mind for The Weeknd's first piece of work, the mixtape "House of Balloons." This absolutely does not mean this is a pass-over of an album; it actually means the complete opposite. Not since "So Far Gone" from Drake in 2009 have I heard a mixtape this moody and atmospheric, yet this record is far different from Drake's break-out piece in that it is much darker, sadistic, and brooding than that. Morbid, lush, and gorgeous production gives a drug-induced background to Mr. Tesfaye's voice, and provides a palette that we've yet to hear. Drugs and sex are everywhere in this tape that sounds exactly like a indulgent, cocaine-filled house party, and it's all The Weeknd knows, yet he does it so well, commanding the mood for the entire nine songs. Tracks that standout would have to be the title track that shifts tone midway through, "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls," the professing "Wicked Games," and the hypnotic "Loft Music." Expand
  6. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    I can rarely say this but every single song on this mix-tape is OUTSTANDING , usually when i listen to a mix-tape of someones i have to skip one or two songs but with house of balloons every song is amazing!
    No skipping for me !!!
  7. Oct 29, 2013
    5
    The production on each track is pretty good in a vacuum, but that's because they all sound the same in my opinion. To me this album sounds like one really long song that just drags on forever. The beats have to change up at SOME POINT, right? I find this kind of boring. A few great moments in the album, but the only time I listen to any track except Wicked Games and maybe The Party & TheThe production on each track is pretty good in a vacuum, but that's because they all sound the same in my opinion. To me this album sounds like one really long song that just drags on forever. The beats have to change up at SOME POINT, right? I find this kind of boring. A few great moments in the album, but the only time I listen to any track except Wicked Games and maybe The Party & The After Party is when I'm taking a midday nap..not even joking Expand
  8. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    I'd be an idiot swaggot to criticize the enigmatic and transcending nature of the mixtape. The Weeknd showed that he is and still at his own PBR&B prime. The structured and aesthetic contents are able to give you the chills in a very calm pulsation. And this is where I worship the gifted talent, The Weeknd!! One day, for sure he will become a great artist!
    Highlights: ''Twenty Eight'' and
    I'd be an idiot swaggot to criticize the enigmatic and transcending nature of the mixtape. The Weeknd showed that he is and still at his own PBR&B prime. The structured and aesthetic contents are able to give you the chills in a very calm pulsation. And this is where I worship the gifted talent, The Weeknd!! One day, for sure he will become a great artist!
    Highlights: ''Twenty Eight'' and the dark, sexual detail of the song itself, ''High For This'', which is the first song that caused me into getting interested in The Weeknd's music for the first time I listened to him, the relaxed song ''The Morning'' and the go-with-the-flow tune ''Loft Music''!
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  9. Feb 24, 2013
    10
    Pretty much the most refreshing listen I've had in a long time. Any occasion is a fine occasion to play this record. These songs are never out of place. Instant classic.
  10. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Abel Tesfaye deserves to be on top of Billboard! On his first mixtape he serves us 9 tracks full with smart lyrics about drugs, sex and love and his celestial voice that impresses me everytime I hear it. It's mainly music for young people but in this sad and partly melancholic way, you don't see often. This mixtape is an artwork and one of my favorites of 2011.
  11. Dec 22, 2012
    10
    This album is beast. It is full to the brim with sex music that will make your ears orgasm to the point of feeling drunk or high. The Weeknd and his sweet falsetto is a breakthrough for new original artists like him and his music is explored but lies unexplored, which brings new listeners hope for Fresh, new music.
  12. Jul 8, 2012
    10
    I've honestly never discovered an artist like the Weeknd. It's not just about his voice or the beats: He's really telling stories. The stories mostly revolve around this upcoming, young artist who's thrusted into the spotlight and his experiences. I think older, mature people can have an easier time staying grounded. The Weeknd makes mistakes and sings them for all to hear. R&B has a placeI've honestly never discovered an artist like the Weeknd. It's not just about his voice or the beats: He's really telling stories. The stories mostly revolve around this upcoming, young artist who's thrusted into the spotlight and his experiences. I think older, mature people can have an easier time staying grounded. The Weeknd makes mistakes and sings them for all to hear. R&B has a place in the future, thought hear the Weeknd's style is PBR&B or Alternative R&B.

    Long story short, this is one of the best albums of 2011-present (whatever date you are reading this). I know I didn't say much about the album, but the mix-tapes free on the Weeknd's site. All you need to know it that 81 people can't be wrong.
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  13. May 15, 2012
    10
    This has to be the one of the best albums I have ever heard. The style that I haven't heard blew me away. Very relaxing chill music to listen to. It calms be out and puts me in a very good mood. This is such a great album that I listen to every couple of days. Hopefully when he gets big he doesn't change up his style. I like his uniqueness and that is what I believe makes his music so special.
  14. Apr 19, 2012
    9
    This album is about as good as R&B gets nowadays. Despite using cliche themes, The Weekend fuses this album into something worth listening to. Great vocals and instrumentation, but at times it gets bogged down by overly repetitive hooks.
  15. Apr 4, 2012
    10
    Amazing! the best album 0f 2011! The weekend is ahead of his time! you must listen to this album, don't wait to long or you'll regret it. With many other albums you listen to now you really don't go back to them, but with this one I keep on listening to it over and over. CLASSIC!!!!!!
  16. Mar 8, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing debut for hopefully an amazing artist. If Abel can produce another album like this we will all be hearing about The Weeknd. The production on the album is like no other. When you listen to this mix tape you'll think its a real album that you bought.
  17. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    With House of Balloons, The Weeknd's subversive genius was unveiled. In coalescing tranquil vocals with a dark and insidious subject matter often associated with R&B's audacious relative (hip-hop), Abel Tesfaye established himself as a trailblazing wonder-kid with the potential to take the music industry by storm. Although he has released two more exemplary mixtapes, House of BalloonsWith House of Balloons, The Weeknd's subversive genius was unveiled. In coalescing tranquil vocals with a dark and insidious subject matter often associated with R&B's audacious relative (hip-hop), Abel Tesfaye established himself as a trailblazing wonder-kid with the potential to take the music industry by storm. Although he has released two more exemplary mixtapes, House of Balloons remains his best and most holistic work. From the first song until the last, Tesfaye and his team of innovative producers were able to create an atmospheric sound that was both innocent and predatory -- which is probably why The Weeknd resonates with so many of us. Expand
  18. Jan 20, 2012
    9
    'House Of Balloons' is likely to be the darkest R&B record you will ever have the pleasure of stumbling across. Covered in a layer of mystery, The Weeknd is unsigned and no one knew what it was at the time of release. All they could do is appreciate their tales of kinky sex and unusual choice of samples (Beach House, Siouxsie & The Banshees). At first Abel Tesfaye's voice can be mistaken'House Of Balloons' is likely to be the darkest R&B record you will ever have the pleasure of stumbling across. Covered in a layer of mystery, The Weeknd is unsigned and no one knew what it was at the time of release. All they could do is appreciate their tales of kinky sex and unusual choice of samples (Beach House, Siouxsie & The Banshees). At first Abel Tesfaye's voice can be mistaken for commercial R&B but when you look at how strange and eerie 'Glass Table Girls' is or how deliciously original 'The Morning' is, it is clear that you are in for something that has never been done before. The Weeknd completely redefine soul music with a record that is impossible to pull yourself away from. Expand
  19. Jan 10, 2012
    9
    This album was classic great lyrics and great content when i heard about The Weeknd I thought he was bad but i was wrong he's the next big thing in R&B and music in general pay attention to him
  20. Dec 15, 2011
    6
    With massive collaborations and critical love, The Weeknd hype was trend this year, almost like Drake's debut So Far Gone. I have to say I had high expectations mainly because of this, and while the House of Balloons is not bad it is just safe. The Weeknd sounds just like Drake 2.0 to me right now.
  21. Nov 27, 2011
    9
    This mixtape is really good. The Weeknd is the next big R&B star. This is the best mixtape this year. If he made this an album it would hav been one of the best album. This is a free download it worth downloading. You have nothing to lose.
  22. Nov 17, 2011
    10
    Absolutely outstanding. 'Album' of the year for me. Just amazingly unique. The dark, drug-fueled mood is set brilliantly by the wonderful production by illangelo and DocMckinney with Jeremy Rose and the astounding vocals by Abel.
  23. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    Truly, one of the most addictive album I've ever heard in years. I wouldn't even know how to categorize this whole album as because of how dark and stunning the samples are. Not only was his sound so beautiful but his voice also forced us to leave the pause button alone. This is 2011's Best Album of the Year.
  24. Sep 28, 2011
    9
    This mixtape/album is really damn good. Vocals and lyrics are emotive and thought provoking and the production hits between the lines of a commercial R&B sound and an ambient electronica feel. Oh, and it is also free to download. One of the best albums I've heard this year. And it's free.
  25. Sep 24, 2011
    9
    This is one of the best r&b albums in the last 5 years. he brings a experimental crossover vibe to the genre. It's a dark, drug-induced, love album.
  26. Sep 22, 2011
    10
    For sure one of the best albums this year. I hope he gets a Grammy, or at lest gets nominated for one. Best tracks: House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls, Wicked Games
  27. Jul 26, 2011
    5
    Over hyped. Production by Doc is up to his usual standards but considering his experience (he's done tracks for britney spears to MSTRKFT) this can't be considered a debut. Vocals and lyrics are utterly forgettable. Typical R&B with dark production.
  28. Jul 19, 2011
    10
    This album is. Amazing. I actually deleted ( available free ) but i had a separate copy which i started listening to again. Never has an album taken so long to get into but now its in my Top 10 along with Destroyer, Antlers, Whomadewho, Wild Beasts etc for 2011. Get into it. You won't regret it.
  29. Jul 13, 2011
    10
    This album projects the intentions of a shadowy artist while concomitantly challenging the listener's own values, beliefs, and morals. Therefore, it is a rare and poignant album that will produce strong reactions in people who give it a good listen. On an emotional level (pretend that you don't know English), this album somehow conveys a sense of overindulgence and related uneasiness inThis album projects the intentions of a shadowy artist while concomitantly challenging the listener's own values, beliefs, and morals. Therefore, it is a rare and poignant album that will produce strong reactions in people who give it a good listen. On an emotional level (pretend that you don't know English), this album somehow conveys a sense of overindulgence and related uneasiness in the instrumentation and production alone (feel free to disagree). However, when this vague impression is combined with the lyrics to various songs, what you have is something that is strangely familiar yet novel in its own right. In other words, if our lives were projected on the big screen, the Weeknd would be playing in the background when we slipped up and drove home completely wasted, hooked up with a random stranger in the dark corner of a bar/house party, experimented with illicit drugs, and woke up with a feeling or regret, longing, and disillusionment. Although you don't want your kids to identify with anything that is described on this album, listening to it allows for a brief regression into one's own guilty pleasures and perhaps past experiences (or desires?). Perhaps this phenomenon is what contributes to the somewhat ineffable nature of House of Balloons's hypnotic appeal. Expand
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Dec 21, 2011
    70
    It's no turning point in a field populated by dozens of elder space cadets and mood architects, from Massive Attack to Spacek to Sa-Ra. As a flawed first step from a young newcomer, however, it's impressive.
  2. While overall House of Balloons carries a chilling vibe, it proceeds to rock the listener with exciting tempos and relaxing melodies that intertwine to form a beautiful piece of art.
  3. Aug 3, 2011
    80
    For what The Weeknd have produced, regardless of what genre it is or isn't, is a very good record.