The year’s most hyped new act makes music about the dark side of seductionThe cover for The Weeknd’s ThursdayThe problem with cautionary tales about the power-drunk is that we all, in our own ways, crave power. Scarface posters dot the nation’s dorm rooms, and it’s not out of pity for how Tony Montana ended up. The Social Network entertained, in part, out of the appeal of its geek-to-mogul transformation tale—even if that tale was mottled by betrayal and loneliness. And Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis’s 1989 non-fiction masterpiece about Wall Street’s corrupting recklessness, backfired. “Six months after Liar’s Poker was published, I was knee-deep in letters from students at Ohio State who wanted to know if I had any other secrets to share about Wall Street,” Lewis wrote in 2008. “They’d read my book as a how-to manual.” The songs of Toronto’s The Weeknd (that’s not a typo) would, at first blush, seem to fall in this category. The most hype-catching new act of 2011—Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and TIME have taken notice, and the Toronto act’s first release was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize—makes nominal R&B music that’s nearly entirely about having sex and taking drugs. Singer Abel… Read full this story
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