Abel Tesfaye’s brooding R&B, filtered through blackout curtains and lust-borne regret, won raves from downloaders last year. The Trilogy collects three of the Toronto singer’s 2011 mixtapes, but some editing might have better introduced him to the world outside Tumblr: Songs like the drugs-and-sex-soaked “Gone” get lost in themselves, becoming more tiring the more you pay attention. (The resulting numbness is appropriate given Tesfaye’s hungover anomie.) “Valerie,” one of three new tracks, shows some growth; like the rest of the album, it’s spare and mournful, but it ebbs and flows seductively.
Listen to ‘Trilogy’