The Weeknd – D.D. (Michael Jackson cover)

December 23, 2011

House of Balloons, the mix-tape that put The Weeknd on the map, was a meditation on hyper-sexuality. With beats and melodies that were filled with the malaise and regret of a lover on a Sunday morning, Abel Tesfaye explored the darkness that lies at the heart of sex. His vocal delivery usually settled somewhere between post-coital whisper (“What You Want”) and ecstatic yelp (“Glass Table Girls”), creating a visceral reaction to what many listeners relegated as music you can only put on when you’re actually having sex. But, while House of Balloons was indeed dripping with sexuality, it’s clear that The Weeknd is an entity that fears sex, the great faceless (or many-faced) monster of the human psyche. So, opening mix-tape number three with Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” makes perfect sense; no one feared his sexuality more than MJ, and “Dirty Diana” elucidates that fear under the guise of the cliche rockstar and his mistress dynamic. On the track, Tesfaye does MJ justice, not just in his incredible homage to Jackson’s signature vocal idiosyncrasies, but in his complete comprehension of what “Dirty Diana” represented to the king of pop–the side of himself that he could never truly look in the eye, let alone understand.

Echoes Of Silence  Cover Art

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