House of Balloons

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 239

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Aug 9, 2016
    8
    8.5 eight point five
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  4. May 8, 2011
    5
    I expected a lot more from this album. I got such great critic reviews. Now I wonder if they were listening to the album with the speakers turned off or someone with a gun to their head forcing them to write a great review. Sure, maybe some people like songs all about sex, drugs, and violence, but it gets boring after a while. I actually thought that the singer was a woman at first. ThereI expected a lot more from this album. I got such great critic reviews. Now I wonder if they were listening to the album with the speakers turned off or someone with a gun to their head forcing them to write a great review. Sure, maybe some people like songs all about sex, drugs, and violence, but it gets boring after a while. I actually thought that the singer was a woman at first. There is something off with that. The only song worth listening to is the first track "High For This". Other than that, don't bother with it. Expand
  5. 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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  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jul 8, 2011
    9
    Though left-field experiments are evident, The Weeknd reaches a certain degree of commercial goodness in the likes of a Ne-Yo album. This is refereshing R&B that never denied its sound, unlike modern R&B artists that mash up with dance and pop. Definitely a must-hear.
  9. 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
  10. Jun 6, 2011
    5
    I just didn't get the hype. I agree with Stuie, musically it's a little above average and lyrically it's sub-par. I downloaded it for free off of their website, and I got what I paid for.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. May 24, 2011
    10
    Outstanding, original R&B. It's dark, a little jaded, sexy as hell, and brutally, in-your-face honest. I can't imagine another album trumping this one for best of the year for me personally. I can't stop listening to it and it gives me goosebumps every single time. These tunes are stuck in my head all day, and playing in my car or on my computer constantly, and it just never gets old.Outstanding, original R&B. It's dark, a little jaded, sexy as hell, and brutally, in-your-face honest. I can't imagine another album trumping this one for best of the year for me personally. I can't stop listening to it and it gives me goosebumps every single time. These tunes are stuck in my head all day, and playing in my car or on my computer constantly, and it just never gets old. Can't wait to hear some new material Expand
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. May 22, 2011
    8
    The instrumentation is fantastic and while the vocals aren't the best, they serve their place here. I have never liked R&B as a genre in anyway, but at some point during House of Balloons the atmosphere will overtake whatever preconceived notions you might have had. Although I usually don't have a problem with profanity in music, I swear the guy says 'f-ck' no less than 30 times here, andThe instrumentation is fantastic and while the vocals aren't the best, they serve their place here. I have never liked R&B as a genre in anyway, but at some point during House of Balloons the atmosphere will overtake whatever preconceived notions you might have had. Although I usually don't have a problem with profanity in music, I swear the guy says 'f-ck' no less than 30 times here, and it's often unnecessary. In short, House of Balloons is an immersing album and really great overall, but it still succumbs to some typical genre-shortcomings. Yes, that includes 'shawtys f-ckin' in the corner.' Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Jul 9, 2011
    8
    It's a bit of a grower. Lyrically, the album doesn't stray much from themes of sex and drugs. Rather than seeming boastful, the pained vocals and dark instrumentals lends these themes a hollow feeling. Early standouts include "Glass Table Girls," "Loft Music," and "What You Need." Overall, the album definitely isn't perfect. Some of the tracks are forgettable, and the singer's deliveryIt's a bit of a grower. Lyrically, the album doesn't stray much from themes of sex and drugs. Rather than seeming boastful, the pained vocals and dark instrumentals lends these themes a hollow feeling. Early standouts include "Glass Table Girls," "Loft Music," and "What You Need." Overall, the album definitely isn't perfect. Some of the tracks are forgettable, and the singer's delivery rarely seems to vary throughout the album. Still, worth checking out. Expand
  20. 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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  21. 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.
  22. Mar 25, 2017
    3
    One of the big reasons why I personally don't like this album is simply because of The Weeknd's lack of adequate lyricism and single dimension instrumentals. The Weeknd's lyrics usually revolve around living a reckless lifestyle (filled to the brim with sex, drugs, alcohol and non-stop parties) and being better than his peers. Themes evident on this record and even in his entireOne of the big reasons why I personally don't like this album is simply because of The Weeknd's lack of adequate lyricism and single dimension instrumentals. The Weeknd's lyrics usually revolve around living a reckless lifestyle (filled to the brim with sex, drugs, alcohol and non-stop parties) and being better than his peers. Themes evident on this record and even in his entire discography. Though his abilities as a producer are undeniable, there is not really moment on this record that made me go, 'wow' or that I thought was innovative. The similarities in his songs also become more evident as the album progresses. One of the most redeeming factors of his album is the features, but even there is some lost potential. I feel as though every time you think the Weeknd did something great, he ends doing the same stuff, just with better quality. At least his has a good singing voice, but it's unfortunately not used creatively or to it's full potential. Rather listen to this without being too critical. Expand
  23. 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.
  24. 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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  25. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    It's an amazing entry from the R&B front. Its sounds like if House of Balloons is just about filthy sex and drugs but it is an amazing imaginative journey of progressive new R&B styled music. The term "Broken Soul" music was invented to describe the Swedish act cirKus (Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey, Lola Moon and Matt Karmil) but it would fit even better to this album. For me the surprise ofIt's an amazing entry from the R&B front. Its sounds like if House of Balloons is just about filthy sex and drugs but it is an amazing imaginative journey of progressive new R&B styled music. The term "Broken Soul" music was invented to describe the Swedish act cirKus (Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey, Lola Moon and Matt Karmil) but it would fit even better to this album. For me the surprise of the year (Ok - we are only in the beginning of 2011 but I'm sure that this one will last).
    Just go to the homepage and download the whole goodness for free and enjoy!
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  26. 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!!!!!!
  27. Apr 13, 2011
    1
    I gave this album a 1 instead of a 0, because, while it is utter trash, it does have slightly better instrumentation then more mainstream R&B releases. However it still has negatives like those awful drum machines beats. I simply cannot stand the R&B Style vocals. Every time I hear them I immediately think of mainstream stuff weather its a fair comparison or not.I gave this album a 1 instead of a 0, because, while it is utter trash, it does have slightly better instrumentation then more mainstream R&B releases. However it still has negatives like those awful drum machines beats. I simply cannot stand the R&B Style vocals. Every time I hear them I immediately think of mainstream stuff weather its a fair comparison or not. However the worst part of this album is the lyrics. Even if it was a concept album you can pretty much forget all of that, because the guys behind The weekend just seem to be genuinely terrible lyricists. To top it all off I had to constantly keep reminding myself that I wasn't listening to the radio. Its almost as if The Weekend released this album with the soul intent of being picked up by some major label. It just sounds like the average money grabber of a song they usually produce. Expand
  28. 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.
  29. Apr 9, 2011
    9
    Hard to believe that the backlash against this album is already happening (that smug smegma Alex Macpherson at the Guardian can take his elitist opinions on R & B and shove them up his mother's arse) . An assured and near-perfect debut. Don't be dissuaded by the contrarian douchebag haters.
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.