House of Balloons

House of Balloons Image
Metascore
87

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

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 202 Ratings

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  • Summary: The mixtape by Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye was released as a free download.
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 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  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. 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 skipI 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 !!!
    Expand
  3. 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 amazingIt'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!
    Expand
  4. 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 outPretty 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. Expand
  5. 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,'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
  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. Collapse
  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 42 User Reviews

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