The Weeknd is one of music's biggest names. His catalog is fairly extensive and includes a combination of studio albums and mixtapes. One way The Weeknd differs from other popular artists of the recent age is that most people see his mixtapes as regular albums. This speaks to the quality and diversity of the Canadian singer's music. Some of his mixtapes even rank above the studio albums in the eyes and ears of many fans.
The Weeknd released his first studio album in 2013 with Kiss Land. This album followed three mixtapes, released from 2011 until 2012. Despite the earlier work, most of the world first gravitated to The Weeknd in 2015 when he signed with Republic Records. This year brought his album, Beauty Behind The Madness, which included the smash single Can't Feel My Face. Currently, The Weeknd has five studio albums, multiple EPs and mixtapes, and soundtrack appearances. The latest is that his remix to Die For You with Ariana Grande debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of this year.
Ranking The Weeknd's albums can be difficult as the singer has an incredible music catalog. However, based on fan reactions and overall sales, these are the weekend's best albums, and mixtapes ranked from worst to best. Here are The Weeknd's best albums, ranked.
'House Of Balloons' From 2011
Though not one of his studio albums, many consider the 2011 mixtape House of Balloons the Weeknd's best work. This collection of songs debuted before the Weeknd was who he is now. At the time, no one really knew the singer. In addition, this was a time when R&B was rediscovering its identity and needed something new. House of Balloons has been called an intense album. It details a drug-fueled bender between two lovers in a way many music fans had never heard before. The Weeknd's House of Balloons is a must-listen for people who like experimental R&B. On the list of The Weeknd's albums, ranked, this one is the best.
'Thursday' From 2011
Thursday came mere months from the release of House of Balloons. The album is often seen as a continuation. On it, he sings about pain and not wanting to succumb to the forces around him. The album involves themes of addiction, toxic love, and simply wanting to survive it all. Again, this was before people really knew The Weeknd, which means he had more room to be vulnerable.
'After Hours' From 2020
Critics believe After Hours to be The Weeknd's first major studio album to fully capture the singer's best. According to many, there are no skips on the album. In addition, it's the perfect blend of his mixtape days and his more mainstream sound. Famously, the album had no featured artists and included the number 1 hit single, Heartless. Of course, After Hours also has Blinding Lights, which was inescapable. The song still holds up in the years since its release. The Weeknd's After Hours is easily one of his best albums. This one could easily be ranked higher, but his overall catalog is impeccable.
'Beauty Behind The Madness' From 2015
For some, Beauty Behind The Madness was their introduction to The Weeknd. He had gained a following up until now, but this album catapulted him into superstardom. The Weeknd started the album rollout with the song Often as the lead single. After this came hits like The Hills and Can't Feel My Face. It was the ladder that had worldwide appeal and really took off. This wasn't only a hit for the day. Instead, it's still a song that people go back to. Despite the subject matter of Can't Feel My Face, the song even won a Kid's Choice Award.
'Dawn FM' From 2022
It's rare for artists to release multiple albums in a year. However, The Weeknd started working on Dawn FM in the early days of the pandemic. He wanted to provide the world with music that reminded people of going outside. In many ways, the album was intended to be an escape from the harsh realities of being in quarantine. However, it's also a concept album that tells a deep story about going to the afterlife. Though not his best, Dawn FM is a solid body of work that came during depressing times.
'Starboy' From 2016
Starboy has a lot of fans, but it's also not a favorite album by most of his R&B lovers. With this body of work, he continued to show that he's an artist who likes to cast a broad net. It's mostly pop. Some would probably say it's his poppiest album. Not only that, it's the one from The Weeknd's catalog that has the most comparison to The King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Starboy may not have produced the biggest hits from his career, but it's still an album every fan of The Weeknd should listen to. This is especially true of people who want to gain insight into the mysterious singer through his lyrics.
'My Dear Melancholy' From 2018
My Dear Melancholy is the 2018 EP from The Weeknd. While a solid body of work, many see it as more of a shortened rehash of his first mixtape. Because of this, many have disregarded it since they could simply listen to the original tape. It has fan-favorite songs such as Wasted Times and Hurt You, but it's really not one of his more popular works, nor is it his best. Of course, most forgive this because he produced some of his best work after. Still, it's an album that could shift places in a ranking of The Weeknd's albums.
'Echoes of Silence' From 2011
Echoes of Silence is the last of The Weeknd's pre-fame mixtapes. It continues his legacy of being music's experimental sad boy. In addition, he makes references to Michael Jackson that really show his versatility as an artist. Though lower on the list than most of his studio albums, this mixtape is essential listening for the Weeknd fans and casual listeners alike. Standout tracks on Echoes of Silence include XO and Montreal.
'Kiss Land' From 2013
The Weeknd's first studio album was Kiss Land. He described the album as similar to his trilogy of mixtapes but set in different places. On the trilogy, he was mostly confined to one room regarding the themes of the songs. However, despite still being a contemplative album, this one is a bit more friendly to general listeners. On the ranking of The Weeknd's best albums, Kiss Land comes in last. All of The Weeknd's albums and mixtapes are well-received, but an artist's debut studio album is always special.