The Weeknd | My Dear Melancholy | Album Review
Record label: XO Records
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In preparation for the release of his third upcoming album, Abel Tesfaye, under his moniker The Weeknd, dropped an EP, My Dear Melancholy, on March 30. With six tracks, audiences are exposed to a darker side of the artist, as the release is full of sad synthesizers and downcast beats.
“Call Out My Name” starts off with slow piano ballads that build up to a dramatic bass drop at the chorus—a Weeknd trademark. Expressed through a powerful display of his smooth R&B vocals, Tesfaye addresses the lengths someone would go to for the person they love.
“Try Me,” kicks off with a heavy bass beat paired with electronic synth pulses in the background that play well off of Tesfaye’s ethereal vocals. Complete with melodic auto-tuned vocals, the song makes for a haunting and sultry track.
“I Was Never There” is a standout of the six songs, as it starts off with a blaring synth reminiscent of a police siren. It then crescendos to a mild beat drop full of muddied instrumentals with an emphasis on the lower harmonies. The EP ends with “Privilege,” the chorus is the highlight of this track as Tesfaye’s voice is manipulated and distorted to the point where it sounds futuristic.
If this album could be described in a color, it would be pitch black. In a matter of 22 minutes, The Weeknd has managed to make a bleak statement about regret, remorse, and reflection. My Dear Melancholy is musically cohesive and the lyrics are blissfully poetic, dreary, and vulnerable, but Tesfaye has unapologetically shown his audiences another side of himself.