House of Balloons

House of Balloons Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 237 Ratings

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  • Summary: The mixtape by Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye was released as a free download.

Top Track

Wicked Games
I left my girl back home I don't love her no more And she'll never fucking know that These fucking eyes that I'm staring at Let me see that ass Look... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 13, 2011
    90
    When it's all said and done, Tesfaye has presided over a mind bending, drug induced tour through an underground world of debauchery that only leaves him hollow. He commands the mood better than artists who have been in the game for years and yet this his first release.
  2. Apr 20, 2011
    89
    House of Balloons is a surprisingly strong and confident debut for a new artist.
  3. The core of the album's success is its fantastic establishment of tonal environment--a brooding sexuality both sadistic and carnivalesque.
  4. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    Lyrically, the mood vacillates between confrontational and reflective, but House Of Balloons really soars when his blunt resolve collides with a more nuanced or gentle vocal delivery, creating a tension reminiscent of Aaliyah's clear-headed emotional states.
  5. 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.
  6. Jul 14, 2011
    80
    A startling debut from a young Canadian RnB artist with huge potential.
  7. 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.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 43
  2. Negative: 2 out of 43
  1. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    This is quality, one of the best things ive heard in ages. I cant quite work out why its so good, it just is and I cant stop listening to it.This is quality, one of the best things ive heard in ages. I cant quite work out why its so good, it just is and I cant stop listening to it. It kind of reminds me a bit of Massive Attack in their earlier days.... the Siouxie and the Banshees sample really works. Its quality, best album of 2011 so far for me. Expand
  2. 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, andThe 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!!
    Expand
  3. Jun 29, 2011
    10
    Easily my favorite album so far in 2011. The beats, the vocals, everything works so well. Lyrically content is catchy, sometimes simple, butEasily my favorite album so far in 2011. The beats, the vocals, everything works so well. Lyrically content is catchy, sometimes simple, but it works. I'm not much into R&B style, but this is by far my favorite album over any genre. Expand
  4. 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, althoughEasily 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. Expand
  5. 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.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. Expand
  6. 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 vocalsIt'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
  7. 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&BI 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

See all 43 User Reviews

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