The Weeknd-Pretty (Video)

I’ve been really impressed with Kiss Land. There was potential for it to be a third successive Weeknd project (excluding Trilogy) that didn’t hold up all the way through, but it’s a very strong offering that has the right mix of progression and the trademark Weeknd sound.

This was arguably one of the LP’s standouts. It lands very close to his earlier work in capturing that dark, moody vibe, but builds on that by adding occasional flourishes of grandeur, and is overall a very addictive listen. It’s a slower yet equally intense track than his last two video releases, though this is far less busy, cutting out the urgent lighting and sharp scene changes for a single thread, story-based video that builds on the audio very well. Not safe for work/kids.

The video opens on a sombre, hesitant Weeknd making his way through the airport and into his car, to undertake a journey through a near-empty city at dusk. The city visuals are impressive, capturing the downbeat vibe of the track excellently, whilst the city’s gradual addition of lights and activity works in line with the track’s growth. Interspersed with the journey scenes are those of a female getting dressed, and eventually fornicating (yeah) with someone. It’s quickly evident that it isn’t The Weeknd, who then lets his badass streak loose, landing somewhere between hitman and spurned lover to close the video off in explosive and surprising circumstances. Simple storytelling, and the pacing, scenery and gritty colour palette add to that for an engrossing watch. Kiss Land out now.

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