House of Balloons Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 417 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. May 4, 2011
    86
    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: 57 out of 67
  2. Negative: 2 out of 67
  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. Dec 12, 2020
    10
    BEST WORK FROM THE WEEKND BY FAR
    HIS FIRST SOLO PROJECT AND BY FAR HIS BEST ONE
    10/10 FOR SURE MASTERPIECE I OWN THE TWO LP'S VERSION VERY
    BEST WORK FROM THE WEEKND BY FAR
    HIS FIRST SOLO PROJECT AND BY FAR HIS BEST ONE
    10/10 FOR SURE
    MASTERPIECE
    I OWN THE TWO LP'S VERSION VERY RECOMENDED
    Expand
  3. 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 wonderfulAbsolutely 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. Sep 24, 2011
    9
    This is one of the best r&b albums in the last 5 years. he brings a experimental crossover vibe to the genre. It's a dark, drug-induced, love album.
  6. 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
  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 67 User Reviews

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