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The Weeknd’s ‘My Dear Melancholy,’ lacks in new sound

April 12, 2018

 

“My Dear Melancholy,” The Weeknd – Three out of Five Stars

 

BRYN YOUNG

News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

The Weeknd is quite possibly one of the most prominent names in R&B today with his last project “Starboy” debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and earning a Grammy nomination. His surprise project, “My Dear Melancholy,” released March 30 and will look to make a similar debut to its predecessor.

 

The extended play looks far less like his recent album both in theme and size, running only 22 minutes over the course of six songs. “My Dear Melancholy,” sounds far more like The Weeknd’s earlier works than his more recent steps into pop music, but does have some of the same producers such as Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Skrillex.

 

The EP features similar brooding ballads as those found on “Beauty Behind the Madness.” The deep bass and dance-like snare beat on the song “Try Me” is reminiscent of “Earned It.” The lyrics and vocalization fall right into The Weeknd’s niche with a wide range of notes and lines like “Lemme know if it’s on, and you know where to find me.” The chorus on “Try Me” is what ties the song together with catchy and emotion-filled repetition that will surely get radio play in weeks to come.

 

The EP at times looks a bit more experimental especially with the song “Hurt You.” The beat-driven song is a lot like “Starboy” with an upbeat, groovy feel to it. The song is not The Weeknd’s best lyrically with two short verses and a hook that is merely thrown out there. Although the content of the words may be lackluster, they are delivered with the usual grandiose style. It also has this ‘80s-esque siren fading in and out which just feels so right for this song.

 

The final track, “Privilege,” is probably one of the best of the entire project with an intro that grips the heart with a quiet, brooding synth line and drawn out, crooning lyrics. Its dark, steady pace closes out the EP in a perfect way. The song focuses heavily on the mix of emotional blues singing and somber, driving beats The Weeknd is known for. It is a short ballad that really hits all the right marks for a good, emotional break-up track which fit the artist and EP so well. It makes up for what it lacks in length with great sound, a great vocal performance and some very sad but catchy lyrics.

 

“My Dear Melancholy,” is truly a resting point for an artist who has had a busy few years. Although it seems like The Weeknd is just returning to his roots, it can seem that he is looking towards new musical directions at times. Many of the tracks on this project sound like his same old tunes and styles but show smaller hints of innovation. “Starboy” showed that he could effectively take pop influences and make them his own, but “My Dear Melancholy,” is a reminder the R&B genre is still The Weeknd’s playground. The EP is nothing too special, but is still a good listen nonetheless.

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