The Weeknd
My Dear Melancholy,


2.5
average

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
March 30th, 2018 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Slow burner or flickering embers?

Surprise, unannounced releases can be a great way for an artist to enhance their reputation and give a slice of something new, something unexpected, to catch fans off guard, or to show a new side. So for an artist like The Weeknd to attempt to pull this off - when a constant criticism of his previous output is that he lacks the consistency and draw for full-length projects – automatically fills the listener with a sense of trepidation and excitement. Where could he be going next" Well, fairly disappointingly, My Dear Melancholy, is something of a crabwalk, sideways stepping through the more restrained and heartfelt highlights of Abel Tesfaye.

From the almost UK-garage influenced ‘Wasted Times’, to the seeming offcuts of Starboy sessions in ‘Try Me’ and ‘Hurt You’, to the tropical ballad ‘Privilege’, thematically, My Dear Melancholy, is a soul-on-display, heart on sleeve trek through slow, jittering synths, down-pitched vocal samples and tight, blunt percussion. Smooth grooves, heavily effected emotive vocals, fluid production. A new edition of the rulebook rather than a total rewrite. So, the soundtrack to the promise of summer this assuredly is not, and for this reviewer at least, there’s something a little cynical and jarring hearing convincing frailty and vulnerability from someone who dropped a huge single 18 months ago solely to brag about excess and extravagance. It may speak volumes about Abel’s track record that I’m just not all that convinced by his claims of ‘never wanting to hurt you’ whilst still reaping the royalties of showing off that ‘sidebitch out of your league’. Indeed, while there’s subtlety and nuance to be enjoyed on this collection, where it falls short (and not for the first time in his career) is that The Weeknd doesn’t quite show who he wants to be – where the subject matter and ambience harks back to some of his previous E.P work and the much-maligned Kiss Land, the production is predominantly Starboy-influenced, with the mix never quite separating itself from either strongly enough to be considered a true departure.

Ultimately, your enjoyment of this E.P may well come down to how much you previously considered yourself a fan. For the more dedicated follower, the project might just fall disappointingly short as it all too often sounds like a slightly more refined version of what he’s brought out before. For the background listener, however, this is a fine example of satisfyingly simple, silky R’n’B production held together by a sultry, elegant vocal (albeit one that’s a little too reverb-heavy for the minimal production). Be under no illusions here, the end product is breathtakingly smooth. What remains to be seen, however, is whether this continues to keep the attention of his followers or whether it will have shifted by the time he decides to move up a gear.

P.S I'd wager there will be little-to-no more vocal passages released in 2018 quite as uncomfortable as 'And I know right now that we're not talkin', I hope you know this dick is still an option'. Shudder.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey y'all. Really wanted to like this a lot more than I did.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Also, that comma at the end of the title was a formatting joy, as I'm sure you could expect.

gryndstone
March 30th 2018


1239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

first and last track are great, everything else i could leave behind

Digging: The Chemical Brothers - No Geography

Muppelope
March 30th 2018


1682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Huh, really? After one listen Wasted Times and I was Never There really stood out to me.

Muppelope
March 30th 2018


1682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I quite liked it, maybe because it's not too bloated like Starboy was.

rufinthefury
March 30th 2018


3093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This shit is awesome. Throwback to Trilogy but with the slick production of his new shit.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm maybe feeling I should have settled on a 3 for this as it really is a smooth listen, I guess I was just a bit frustrated by it...

JeetJeet
March 31st 2018


6322 Comments


The most overrated R&B artist out right now no cap

Digging: Secret Band - LP2

alamo
March 31st 2018


1220 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"i was never there" is an enjoyable track but the rest absurdly boring this is far from trilogy stuff

chug73
March 31st 2018


3799 Comments


Trilogy and Kissland are tough to beat

chug73
March 31st 2018


3799 Comments


Call out my name and Hurt You are the best songs here.

rufinthefury
March 31st 2018


3093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SO CALL OUT MY NAAAAAAAME



UGH Y'ALL SLEEPIN ABEL IS BACK

anarchistfish
March 31st 2018


27135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hate that trilogy is now considered the definitive edition of the mixtapes

anarchistfish
March 31st 2018


27135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is pretty bland. The best tracks are the ones with gesaffelstein. I've pretty much given up on liking any of the weeknd's future stuff

OmairSh
April 1st 2018


14815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hurt you is great

RadioSuicide
April 1st 2018


803 Comments


This is ok, maybe a little better than starboi. After trilogy and BBtM i feel like everything he puts out is a reverb laden rehash of shit he's already done.

Eons
April 2nd 2018


2186 Comments


''Oh hey, look at me. I'm depressed. But I'm not really depressed. I mean, I have a lot of money (never actually struggled in any real way) it's just a gimmick I use to sell records. Here's another whiny semi-love-but-not-really song where I whine and cry as bad as Drake does in his songs, yet nobody bashes me for it like they do him for whatever reason. Check me out. Woo.'' - The Weeknd.

Digging: Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank

chug73
April 2nd 2018


3799 Comments


Ok Eons

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not gonna lie, in my more cynical moods, I'd totally agree with Eons on this...

anarchistfish
April 2nd 2018


27135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wasn't he effectively homeless when he released the mixtapes. or maybe before



also swae lee's solo single is better than anything here



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKmsXqz6qJU



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