‘My Dear Melancholy’: The Soundtrack to a Broken Heart

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Published April 7, 2018
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The Montclarion
The Weeknd returns with a six-song EP that reminds fans of his old material and combines it with the new. Photo courtesy of theweeknd.com Photo credit: theweeknd.com

Since the release of his album “Starboy” back in 2016, two-time Grammy award-winning rhythm and blues artist The Weeknd recently made a return to the music scene with a brand new extended playlist (EP) titled, “My Dear Melancholy.” The self-proclaimed “King of the Fall” released six brand new songs last Friday and moved a lot of his listeners.

After doing research about “My Dear Melancholy,” his fans appreciate the return to an old, yet familiar sound that they were used to back in the early 2010s, but critics move away from this sound as Abel Tesfaye (stage name The Weeknd) plays it safe.

While both sides have a point, it’s easier to say that this EP is an excellent mixture of both. While it is playing it safe with a production that The Weeknd is used to and has dealt with before, it still has a newer feel to it that you would hear on his more recent albums like “Starboy” or “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

The six songs in order are “Call Out My Name,” “Try Me,” “Wasted Times,” “I Was Never There,” “Hurt You” and “Privilege.” They all deal with relationships and different standpoints within them. There might be connections to some of the songs and his breakup with singer and actress Selena Gomez. Given the timing of their recent split, it definitely had some kind of impact on “My Dear Melancholy.”

Starting with “Call Out My Name,” the fan favorite of the six, The Weeknd is heartbroken; he puts all this work into a relationship that suddenly ends with his partner. Putting her on a pedestal, he realizes that she used him to get over someone else from her past when The Weeknd believes there was more to their relationship. An emotional and slow start to the EP, this kind of song makes you want to curl up in your bed, weep about the past and wonder what could have been.

“Try Me” follows The Weeknd as he challenges the commitment of another partner, who is with a person besides himself. He lures his partner by saying she’s the best he’s ever had and reminds him of what they used to have. It sounds more R&B than the soul track that the EP begins with.

“Wasted Times” is third on the tracklist, where The Weeknd is in a different relationship, but longs for the one he wants with a previous partner. He later questions what his old girlfriend’s new partner has that he doesn’t. This really brings out his ego, which is something that his newer sound has a lot of. While it is not a waste of time to listen to, it is a song with a more European, club-like rhythm that ultimately works in its favor.

“I Was Never There” is lyrically repetitive, but brings the pure sadness that the entire EP is now known for. It’s a song that might be one of the saddest of the six on the EP. The Weeknd blames his ex for the depressing feelings he’s experiencing now, saying that his happiness was never real and going as far as questioning what makes him want to take his life. The switch in beat halfway through the song is something that longtime fans of The Weeknd will remember from his early works. This song and the next feature Gesaffelstein, a French DJ.

All of the songs on this EP have The Weeknd credited as a writer, but this one also has Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo credited, who is one half of Daft Punk. The Weeknd collaborated with Daft Punk on the title and closing track of his album “Starboy.” A personal favorite, it puts The Weeknd on the other side of the relationship; having his partner wanting him back but him warning her that love isn’t something he wants from her.

The closing track, and the shortest of the six, “Privilege” is pure poetry. A perfect end to a deep and gloomy time of The Weeknd’s EP, it shows the return to his old ways of abusing alcohol and drugs to forget about his unhappiness.

“My Dear Melancholy” has been a welcomed return for the The Weeknd, as his discography creates this purely disheartening collection of songs that would bring even the happiest of people to tears.

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