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 183 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: 34 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  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 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
  3. 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 albumOutstanding, 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
  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 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 hisHard 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. Expand
  6. 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 bigThis 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 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. Collapse

See all 41 User Reviews

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