The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy,

Is it an EP or is it an album? I really cannot tell, because at 6 tracks and 22 minutes we are getting a small album. Is it the return of The Weeknd that fans from the beginning have been begging for? Yes and no. Whilst it still has similar vibes to that of Kiss Land and the whole Trilogy project, there are points where you feel like he is holding a little back, then up comes track 4. Up until that point, I wasn't convinced that Abel was going down the same dark and dirty approach he is loved for. Main track and single Call Out My Name is definitely a nice return to the Weeknd's roots, it will be a hit guaranteed, it's cleanly produced and flawless in it's sheer class, even a nice bit of reverb in Abel's voice prior to the second chorus makes it extra. But I was wanting something even darker, I was wanting vintage Weeknd, the little electro flute at the end over the beat was not enough for me, nor were the simplistic lyrics. Next track Try Me is a pretty standard beat and lyric combo, that just didn't do much for me, sounds similar to his other same-same filler tracks. Wasted Time was a little more of an innocent and fleshed out track, Abel is definitely speaking his feelings wondering who a previous lover "belongs to now". It's got a lot of groove with a nice deep synth with beat to it, pretty standard for The Weeknd though. Then came Track 4, I Was Never There. The synth in this song is so damn amazing, it's eerie, it's dark, it's deep. The bass and snare with Abel's smooth voice accompanied by that awesome little synth riff had be in a trance. The beat change up mid-way through the song was what I thought to be the icing on the cake, then The Weeknd breaks out his incredible range in vocals, and there is an electro flute underneath of his vocals that creates a dark atmosphere that really and genuinely impressed. Hurt You followed, which is as Star Boy as this album will get, moody and late-night beats and synths, a continuation almost after I Was Never There with a creepy synth that I love. The final minute providing a real showcase of the polish of production on this album, a siren like blaring over the dark beat as Abel's voice is left second to the beat. The finale is Privilege perhaps the darkest The Weeknd gets on the EP, certainly not the darkest we've seen him though. Admitting that he'll "F*ck the pain away" as well as "I got two red pills to take the blues away". All this over a very soft and sombre beat with piano, the track is only 2-40 in length, yet it leaves a lasting impression that definitely wants fans to know he's back to his old ways. My Dear Melancholy is far from perfect, and it is far from the Weeknd's best work, yet it is a nice track back to his best work. He certainly isn't as lyrically on point as he has been in the past either, it feels like he has put more focus on the production side of this project, rather than lyricism, which suffers when it comes to wanting what he is renowned for in his past work. A return back to the beginning for The Weeknd, one that is nice to be apart of, yet can definitely be refined in the future. 3.5/5

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