Deep Dive to The Weeknd's Cinematic Discography Part 2: Kiss Land

Following The Trilogy Act, now we enter another dimension of the Weeknd's universe. His exploration of his darkly sensual vibe and atmospheric R&B continued with ''Kiss Land''. However, unlike Trilogy now the Weeknd is out of his own environment. ''Kiss Land'' feels like a whole new world that is not familiar to him. Inspired by Japan's cosmopolitan city, Tokyo. He feels as if he is on a totally different planet now. In the song ''Kiss Land'', the lyrics ''I went from starin' at the same four walls for twenty-one years/ To seein' the whole world in just twelve months'' reflect his unfamiliarity with the whole another life that he never thought he would as he had been pursuing the same lifestyle in his own environment for 21 years. The first album, Trilogy, reflects the life he had before Kiss Land. It was as if he was trapped in his own world, leaving his creativity and imagination locked by his conscience. But now, a new world has opened its door for him with his newfound success and subsequent lifestyle. ''Kiss Land'' is the album where he explores this unfamiliar and exciting world, but also recognizes the fears and worries of fame and money. On ''The Town'', the lyrics ''I haven't been around my town in a long while/I apologize, but I/I've been trying to get this money like I got a couple of kids who rely on me'' he expresses his longing and reminiscing the old days in Toronto but now he is famous now have a totally new perspective and view of the world. He embraces and adapts this new dark and hedonistic atmosphere of stardom as he confesses in ''Adaptation'' that he ''let it go for a little fun'' and ''made a trade/gave away our days for a little fame''. 

The metropolitan Asian vibe is transparent in Kiss Land. Even the album's title track, "Kiss Land" is a reference to a Japanese red-light district. The term "kiss land" is thought to be a reference to the idea of exploring the darker and more exotic parts of life that are usually linked with Tokyo's nightlife. The album title itself sets the tone for the sensual and mysterious world that the listeners are about the get in. ''Kiss Land'' with its lyrics and atmosphere, and with themes like love, lust, sensuality, fame, and self-destructive behaviors, totally reflects the darker and more hedonistic aspects of city life, often associated with Asian cities. Also, the production of the album has elements that allude to Asian musical influences, creating a fusion of Asian and Western musical styles. The fusion of these Asian influences complements the album's exotic atmosphere and its exploration of indulgence, passion, mystery, and emotional complexity.

Just like the Trilogy Act, The Weeknd's capability of blurring the lines between the realms of music and cinema continues in ''Kiss Land'' too, and, of course, the cinematic influences of the artist play a big role in creating cinematic albums. As it did in the Trilogy, the influence of David Lynch felt throughout this album too. The eerie and surreal vibes of the Kiss Land resonate with Lynch's dreamlike sequences and a sense of foreboding. The album's dark and mysterious atmosphere reminds cult movies of Lynch such as "Mulholland Drive" and "Lost Highway'', as it was also the major inspiration for The Weeknd's debut, Trilogy.  Another one of the biggest influences on the album is undoubtedly Blade Runner with its metropolitan Asian impact, neon signs, and dystopian and futuristic world. They both explore dark and futuristic atmospheres, creating a sense of tension and sensuality. The sound of the ''Kiss Land'' reminisces the futuristic sound of the movie. In the song, ''Tears in the Rain'', there is a direct reference to the ''Tears in Rain monologue'' near the conclusion of Blade Runner. Also, both productions explore the themes of alienation and detachment from reality as seen in the lyrics ''This world's not for us/It's not what it seems''. 

The odd and otherworldly mood of the album is influenced by Asian movies, notably Japanese and Hong Kong films. Especially the work of Shinya Tsukamoto, ''A Snake In June'' is considered to be a strong influence on Kiss Land by some fans.

The use of mysterious sound and eerie atmosphere suggest that the horror movies of the 80s and 90s horror and psychological thrillers have a strong influence on the album, especially David Cronenberg’s horror influence is present throughout the album. Cronenberg's portrayal of sexual aberrance and dark and disturbing imagery are similar to Kiss Land's overall mood and atmosphere. Cronenberg's interest in exploring the themes of alienation and sexuality, alignes with The Weeknd's interest in exploring the dark and twisted aspects of human psychology in his music.

Next chapter is Beauty Behind the Madness.