Kyle Anderson
January 10, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Echoes of Silence

type
Music
Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

Drake may be the high priest of the new church of hybrid R&B weirdness, but the Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) is the missionary, delivering the good news from a pulpit of tear-soaked synths. On this final entry in his lauded mixtape trilogy, Tesfaye’s velvety melodies infuse his trippy minimalism like incense smoke, getting lost only on the too-woozy title track. He’s also feeling more confident: Echoes of Silence is impressively sample-free — though it does open with a bravura cover of Michael Jackson’s ”Dirty Diana.” That takes a true believer. B+

Best Tracks:
Swirling slow jam Montreal
Rugged stutter step Initiation

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