Abel Tesfaye’s (The Weeknd) song, “The Party and the After Party,” which appeared on his compilation album Trilogy released in November 2012, shows his influences from Michael Jackson with his high tenor vocals and storied lyrics, and fuses it with punk elements akin to Siouxsie and the Banshees, showcasing his drug heavy lyrical content. While his music reflects these diverse influences, The Weeknd’s sound is so unique because he takes these traits and combines elements from each. He sings these smooth melodic lines like Jackson using his high ranged voice, but adds punk elements to make it a depressing story about doing too many drugs and having sex with a girl. His captivating high tenor voice echos Michael Jackson’s falsettos. They both are able to move through higher registers with ease, making their voices so satisfying to listen to as they avoid cracking. The Weeknd sings about drug use in most of his songs, but not the way hip hop typically boasts. He talks about drugs as an escape from reality and often mentions the isolation of post highs. His lyrics are raw, but when sung in that soothing high tenor, it makes his songs sound seductive. His daunting and dismal lyrics emulate the rebellious punk attitude that allowed artists to confront issues regarding gender/mainstream norms, and sexuality.
"The Dark Prince of Emotional R&B"