Kiss Land

Abel Tesfaye specializes in spacey R&B songs where he sounds sad about things that would make most people happy (having sex, going to parties, hanging with friends). So you can imagine how bummed Tesfaye is now that he tours the world and has a major-label contract. Kiss Land follows in the lethargic steps of 2012's Trilogy, but the pace is slower, songwriting thinner and vision more bloodshot. Tesfaye floats through songs like a child in the most luxurious bubble money can buy. "This the shit that I live for," he claims, riding around in a car, going through mild withdrawals. Only a Drake cameo can cheer him up – barely.

From The Archives Issue 1193: October 10, 2013