By Jamil Oakford/managing editor
The Weeknd mixes his old sound with new
The Weeknd returns with an EP full of introspection on his recent love life and sounds that echo back to his roots.
My Dear Melancholy is audibly a far stronger collection than The Weeknd’s last two albums. Its sound resonates back to Trilogy, the album that put him on the map.
The EP begins with “Call Out My Name,” which tells the story of a disillusioned narrator laying out the sacrifices he made for the person he loved and not feeling that love reciprocated. It’s airy, slow and is a non-committal way to enter his follow-up to highly poppy Starboy. But the instrumental is relaxing, and The Weeknd’s vocals are good enough to let the listener kick back and relax.
With just six songs on the EP, it flows seamlessly from track to track. Not one of the songs feels out of place, and it’s sometimes hard to notice where the previous track ends and the next picks up.
Lyrically, this album is more of the same. It’s an album littered with sexual references (a signature of The Weeknd at this point) and the promises of infidelity, but he’s a changed man. After public relationships with two well-known celebrities, he seems a little less cautious of talking about something more concrete in the way of love.
Instead of the guy who can’t feel his face when he’s with the girl he likes or the guy who suggests his partner will need to be “high for this,” he’s asking the typical questions any guy who was in a relationship he wasn’t ready to exit would ask. In “Wasted Time,” arguably the strongest track on the EP, he asks, “Who you give that love to now? Who you pullin’ up on now? Who you getting sprung for now? And what they got that I ain’t got?” He goes on to express his regrets for getting so attached to someone.
This EP seems to illustrate the various stages of digesting a breakup. While the lyrical content may be the same old, same old from The Weeknd, the music seems to have found a happy medium between his newer pop sound and the old synthy R&B that fans initially fell in love with on Trilogy.
While it may not be the most relatable lyrically, this album offers some of the most relaxing instrumentals from his repertoire and makes for the perfect study playlist.