Kiss Land - The Weeknd
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 93
  2. Negative: 9 out of 93

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  1. N10
    Sep 10, 2013
    It seems like critics really want to put out reviews as fast as they can, it's like a rally. Let it grow on you, take you're time it's just been a day since it offically have released. A record you really need to sit down with to really appreciate as a whole. Small details here and there in the production did alot for my listening experience too, not big just some tiny instruments. Sonically it's rich and cinematic, I mean it all ends with track 10 "Tears In The Rain" (a one of the many references to the 80's movie Blade Runner) so you kinda get where he's trying to get with his sound for his big major label debut album.

    Like Janelle Monáe's new release, both are heavily influenced by SCI FI, the SCI FI heads of R&B. Monáe with Metropolis, The Weeknd with Blade Runner. And like his Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford influences it all begins with "Professional" a dreamy, catchy and heart broken set, both sonically and lyrically, the vocals are well executed and a great first play into the album. Quietly from the first piece of the album we're in this atmospheric world created and signed by Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd), it all stays in the lane of the first track until the boombastic and synth heavy pop song "Belong To The World". A good song with some clever lines, tough it's a preference of what you find as 'good' when he sings "I'm not a fool I just love that you're dead inside I'm not a fool I'm just lifeless too". My opinion, it's one of the most original and strangest hooks I've heard in years, laughable or lovable, I personally like it.. a lot.

    Right after the centerpiece we have the little hip hop anthem "Live For" with a feature from fellow Canadian, their very own, Drake. Well, let's put it like this, when it came to Drake on this record he really sounded to bring big, HUGE, inspirations from J. Cole's "N***as Know" that was included earlier this year on his sophmore "Born Sinner". Similiar rhymes, lines.. and topic at certain points, and even flow wise. But hey, the verse was not bad, just a bit suspicious about it that's all. Sounded like a re write of Cole's with just some lines off the board, not a better verse though either. The track was quite fitting to what it all built up too and it's a more up tempo track than most of it. Overall it's a fun song.

    Wanderlust, a song which could have made it to a Michael Jackson singel in the 80's, a great track and one of the best songs on the album, loving it. The fun parts are over, now with the titel track "Kiss Land" and tracks there after it's all pain, depression, misogyny, he's voice starts cracking up. I guess, John Carpenter and those great horror directors did this kid a favor, cause at the end, The Weeknd has released a excellent debut album. Don't miss out my favorite one of the album, "Adaptation", it reminded me of "The Prince of Egypt" while track #2 "The Town" had some vibes of the 90's cartoon/animé televsion "Sailor Moon".
    Probably gonna get mixed opinions from both critics and listeners in this day in age where living in now, give it some time and I think it's gonna lead a new wave of artist's with it's sound and topics. See "Kiss Land" as one of Marvin Gaye's most influential records "Here My Dear" which didn't get the same acclaim as his previous releases, but look at what it did to quiet storm and contemporary R&B as a genre, The Weeknd can be doing the same thing for PBR&B or whatever we gonna call this.

    Literally have been playing it from start to end about 20 times, more or less, and I've gotta say, "Kiss Land" is The Weeknd's most ambitious and interesting work yet. The top album of it's genre with Monáe and James Blake for sure, they will definitely be fighting for my album of the year.
  2. Sep 10, 2013
    The Weeknd tries a new sound and it works out perfectly.

    In Kissland instead of the normal drugged out and raw Weeknd we get a more vulnerable and personal artist. It's a very cohesive project in where the outro will literally having you feel his pain, it was clear that this was music written from the heart, not for critical acclaim and that's what make's it even better. How personal it is.
  3. Sep 13, 2013
    Critics are losing their minds. The depth of production and quality of sound on this album is impeccable, and Tesfaye has moved into the debate of best singer alive with his stunning vocal work across every track. I feel like every review disses him for "misogynistic elements" (even though it's a modern R&B album. I mean... seriously) yet even if you liked none of the lyrics the complexity of sound and rhythm is impossible to ignore. 6.1/10? What a joke. This is an excellent album at worst and at its best it is transcendent.

    Kiss Land is music at its finest, no matter how politicking or conflicting interests is driving critics to say otherwise.
  4. Sep 10, 2013
    Just let it grow on you, it's quiet well made. Really nice production as well, gives listeners a feeling of elation unique to the Weeknd's music. Pretty good follow-up to his Trilogy.
  5. Sep 11, 2013
    I personally created an account to review this album I couldn't believe the semi mixed reviews it got from the "critics", the user reviews are much more accurate. Such an amazing album I'm usually the type of guy to listen to the leak of a cd and then download individual songs from the album because the entire album isn't that great just a couple of songs. Well as I was listening and to this album song by song I noticed I had downloaded every single song off the album (except for Belong to the world which I already have).

    Its so good that I felt guilty not purchasing it so I went out and bought the album despite having every song. So consistent very rare you find a CD where every single track is great. I know I sound like a fan boy but it really is a great CD if you are contemplating buying this because you haven't heard it spend the 10$ and support this great piece of art and this great artist.
  6. Sep 10, 2013
    A very well crafted album, with good songs and lyrics. I do admit that the lyrics isn't the best but overall I thought the album had some good lines. I love the type of songs he produced. It sounds much different from his previous album, but it's still as good, may be better.

    For this album I was expecting a much better album than the last one but ended up listening to an album thats on
    the same level as the first album. This album isn't better or worst. The thing that I like about The Weeknd is the features. He doesn't have a lot of feature on this album. The only major feat. on this album was Drake.

    I am looking forward to more of The Weeknd albums in the future.

    I give it an 8.5/10
  7. Jan 19, 2014
    Kiss Land is an atmospheric and rather grand debut album by PBR&B artist The Weeknd that all together is a moody and sonic masterpiece that has been made impeccably. Kiss Land's only flaw is that some of its writing delves it uninspired rap music cliches; sex, drugs, money and what not, but these flaws are made up for by Abel Tesfaye's fantastic and beautiful vocals. Kiss Land, in the end, is a brilliant follow up to The Weekend's Trilogy of mix-tapes and is a fantastic studio debut. Expand
  8. Sep 10, 2013
    The Weeknd, yet again, delivers and makes every other R&B singer look average. Easily one of, if not the, the best R&B releases of the year and it is a fantastic addition to his already immaculate discography.
  9. Sep 10, 2013
    It's early September and we have a ton of new albums coming out after a rather bland summer. I'd never really heard of The Weeknd before I saw this album was coming out, but it got my attention with the Kavinsky feature so I checked it out, and I'm glad I did. Every song on the album is really nice sounding, some more than others but it's still the better option to the new 2 Chainz album. While I'm assuming Kiss Land will be Buried beneath the hype of AM by Arctic Monkeys and perhaps Repave by Volcano Choir, I still recommend you check it out if you have time. Expand
  10. Sep 10, 2013
    I really enjoyed the album, including the production quality, the lyrics, and Abel's vocals. The Weeknd is really evolving as an artist and really finding his stride after the success of 'Trilogy'. He never disappoints.
  11. Sep 11, 2013
    agree this takes time to listen to, a truly unique and creatively constructed album which focuses on the transition from anonymity into fame. context is important, the complex interview gives extra significance to all the lyrics. criticism about poor lyrics is missing the point i feel. there are more to lyrics then just the words itself, the passion in which they're delivered and raw emotion behind every word makes Kiss Land truly and memorable and worthwhile listening experience. The cinematic production creates an eerie feel which you cant help but lose yourself and picture a world in which all these things are happening to you at the rapid pace of an hour. At that world is Kiss Land Expand
  12. Feb 6, 2014
    Basically, different from trilogy but he stays true to his craft, took some time to grow up on me. Every single song in Kiss Land is amazing and unique in it's own way.
  13. Apr 16, 2014
    This album is a bit of a letdown from Tesfaye's previous work. The versatility of the sound has been sacrificed for pop sensibility, and what was a strong lyrical voice has now fallen to trite cliches and unfortunate metaphors. In addition to the failure that is Tesfaye's lyrics, the production is a step backwards as well, with songs like "Pretty" and "Tears in the Rain" wandering aimlessly against a static atmospheric backdrop. The beauty of Tesfaye's previous works was their ability to jostle about, even with somewhat static instrumentals, the beauty and poise of the vocals as well as the candid lyrics made the whole thing seem active. On "Kiss Land," Abel allows the instumentals to stagnate. The only points on "Kiss Land" where Abel & Co. create moments vaguely resembling anything from "Trilogy" are on the first few tracks (Professional, The Town) and the title track ("Kiss Land"). Those tracks take a more aggressive and industrial direction, to wonderful results. But it's these moments that cause the album to be such a disappointment: we know Abel is capable of deliciously seductive slow jams and frightening electronic odysseys. But it feels like the majority of the tracks here are filler between the more fleshed out and more audacious tracks. Expand
  14. Oct 28, 2013
    As much as an Abel fan I am, I must say that this album was my least favorites of his past few releases but still manages to kick ass in the R&B genre. Kiss Land still had the dark lyricism, incredible vocals, and misogyny storytelling that he is known for in the R&B genre. Well, what was missing? Illangelo. I think the production on this album was well done but it was missing the very dark production that existed on Echoes of Silence. With all that said, this is the best album of 2013 so far but the least favorite of The Weeknd's releases. Expand
  15. Sep 16, 2013
    While it doesn't really touch his previous work, this album did grow on me after a few listens. At first i was gonna give it a 5 or 6, but there is a pretty good album here. The content isn't as dark as his mixtapes, which shows he can be more versatile, but it doesn't really hit me as hard as his mixtapes did. I feel what he is talking about (the tour life for the most part) but i prefer the darker r&b he had on his mixtapes (exception being the title track "kiss land", which feels like its straight from House of Balloons). Some songs' production ends up sounding too similar for some of the album too. His party/dance tracks (Wanderlust & Odd Look) are amazing and I would like to hear that style from him in the future. Reminded me of Frank Ocean's "Pyramids". Overall, this was a good debut album for The Weeknd, and I'm excited to see how he goes on from here. Expand
  16. Sep 17, 2013
    I have had this album on repeat ever since I got it the other day, got to be one of the most anticipated albums of the year. The Weeknd has manged to win my heart again -perfect
  17. Sep 29, 2013
    I don't know why critics are so harsh to Kiss Land, probably the similarity to Trilogy and the overwhelmed theme made them really bored, but actually this is a good follow-up one.
  18. Oct 23, 2013
    The lyricism on this LP falls really shallow, bland and derivative. He sings into great detail over sexual themes and withdrawals and really sinks to rapper-lyricism levels. What he sings here on this LP isn't far from the crude, inappropriate lyrics rappers have (ex. 2 Chainz). His lyricism on Trilogy was more poetic or for lack of a better word more vague along the sexual terms. Here he blatantly, and up front explains what he wants and what happens. (It'd be more specific but I'm trying to keep this review PG.) The vocal delivery is very ironic considering he sings about parties and lavish activities in a very morose tone, cause it's so sad to party and tour and be on a major record label right?

    While I did love the mood, emotion, instrumentation and production on this LP, The Weeknd's lyrics are too blatantly sexual, explicit, thin, shallow and redundant that he doesn't really come off as a romantic lover but more sleazy and shallow. This causes him to not generate any romantic appeal at all, which I can obviously see what he's trying to go for, in which he ultimately fails. If I was a girl, I'd back away quick. He's doing it for the kicks, let's hope that on his next project he can feel. For now, he's cold and incredibly underwhelming.

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  19. Feb 7, 2014
    This album is amazing i can appreciate most songs and the songs i couldn't after listening to them repeatedly and i learnt to respect and value the lyrics and the meaning behind each word. My favourite songs have to be love in the sky, kiss land ,adaption and professional. As you can tell i loved most of the album , i adore how Abel jumps from one aspect of his life to another that have no similarities between them but he still manages to link them in a wondrous way. Songs like love in the sky and adaption that talk about love and his heartbreaking experiences then he moves to songs like kiss land and live for where he talks about his crazy life style that has come with his recent popularity. I can understand why people might not enjoy this album as i believe it is very different from his mix tapes. Its different but exciting because you get to hear Abel talk about the new experiences and people he meets due to the fact that he is no longer in his humble upbringing in toronto he is travelling the world.
    I love this song the way the beat changes mid way, not only is this song about the beat but the lyrics are really interesting "because your freedom was here i this cage all along" like who thinks of such amazing lyrics ! i really do enjoy this song and i like the fact that the album starts with this song as you really get a feel of what the rest of the album is like.
    - THE TOWN: This is one of the songs i found hard to understand and enjoy , i am not going to lie i still find it hard to fully enjoy this song like the rest of the songs however i am sure other people can vouch for this song and tell you how amazing it is.
    - ADAPTION:Omds adaption is one of my favvsss , this song just makes me think really hard when i listen to it. All i am saying is if you have an ex you still love its going to be hard for you to listen to this song without crying lool. But this song really makes me feel sorry for Abel even though he might not be singing from personal experience the lyrics really make you understand that he really did love the girl he let go and he shouldn't have and regrets it deeply. I also love the police sample in the background adds something spesh to the song.
    - LOVE IN THE SKY: Again like adaption this song make me feel sorry for the weeknd i feel to just give him a hug , the line "but I'm always getting high cause my confidence low" is really upsetting and i always pick up on that line when i listen to it. I think everyone does as it is very deep, however i really do love this song i love how he goes from singing then goes into this mini rap where he talks about multiple things that all link. AMAZING. I also really love the guitar at the start and throughout the song its so smooth makes the song just flow.
    - BELONG TO THE WORLD:I do like this song the lyrics really remind me of professional for some reason. My interpretation may be wrong but i think he's talking about the way a girl is emotionless in their relationship and how he can relate to it and enjoys the fact that she mistreats him. This could be because as an Aquarius Abel is expected to be aloof with his feelings so the fact that this girl is is a good thing.
    - LIVE FOR (feat. Drake):I do like this song but sorry drake but i don't really care for your rap. i do care for the weeknds verse at the start but thats where it ends for me. To be honest i don't really like the chorus as its just repetitive and boring soz. i do like the instrumental though.
    - WANDERLUST and WANDERLUST PHARRELL REMIX: I do like this song but i do enjoy the pharrell remix better i think its because a lot of the songs on this alum have a dark and mysterious (but glorious) feel to them and the remix has a funky upbeat feel to it which i really do enjoy. The ad-libs on the original and remix are fantastic.
    - KISS LAND: I lovee this song!! i can not express to you how amazing this song is the way it changes half way to this sickkkk rap where he talks about his wickeddd life , i absolutely love the fact that everyone who hears this song remembers the rap and no's it word for word i know i do! "white Russian till the sun hits white Russian with tongue tricks" TOO LIVEE!
    - PRETTY: I never use to like this song i thought it was boring , but now i appreciate it and really enjoy the lyrics and video. The lyrics are really blue and i really hope he isn't speaking from experience but the song its self is amazing. I think i appreciate it more now because it took me longer to like it then any other song on the album.
    - TEARS IN THE RAIN: I like this song the lyrics remind me of adaption as both songs talk about a girl that Abel let go and wish he didn't which just makes me again hope he's not talking through experience but i am sure he is. This song and adaption is a prime example of how his songs link.
    Overall this was an GREAT album from Mr.Tesfaye, I really love that all the songs beats link into the next song.This album grew on me tremendously.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Dec 4, 2013
    Kiss Land covers musical and lyrical territory similar to 2012's Trilogy, but Abel Tesfaye's falsetto recollections of joylessly shallow sexual escapades still sound relatively fresh and novel. [Nov-Dec 2013, p.100]
  2. He still has an ear for production and his voice remains a pliable tool, but to keep himself tethered to an aesthetic he defined and completed within a year is to do himself and the listener a disservice.
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    Ultimately the genius of Kiss Land‘s production lies in its ability to literalise Tesfaye’s fractured state of mind.