House of Balloons is the debut mixtape of Canadian artist, The Weeknd, released online for free in March 2011. Production was headed up by Canadian producers Doc McKinney, Zodiac, Illangelo. House of Balloons blends a range of electronic and urban genres including R&B and soul as well as incorporating dubstep tones. The title track is based on the music of the hit single "Happy House" by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Upon its release, House of Balloons garnered much acclaim among critics and fans alike. Preceded by a string of low-profile buzz single releases throughout 2010, the identity behind The Weeknd was kept secret from the public which attracted significant interest. House of Balloons received the 'Best New Music' title at Pitchfork.com. Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating based on reviews by industry professionals, gave House of Balloons a rating of 87 based on 16 reviews indicating 'Universal Acclaim,' also making it the third highest scoring R&B release ever. In December of 2011, Metacritic determined that House of Balloons was the third best-reviewed project of the year .
Additionally, the mixtape was featured on several music critics' and publications' end-of-year albums lists. Complex called it the "best album of 2011;" Stereogum ranked it number 5 ; The Guardian ranked it number 8 ; The A.V. Club ranked it number 6 ; SPIN ranked it (as well as Thursday) number 13 ; while Pitchfork ranked it number 10. As a whole, House of Balloons was the seventh most frequently mentioned album in music publications' year-end Top Ten lists .
The mixtape was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. It was later announced as a shortlisted nominee.
The mixtape's title track, House of Balloons, was listed on Pitchfork Media's list of top 100 songs of 2011 at number 57, while The Morning was number 15.
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