Unpopular opinion — I did not like The Weeknd’s latest EP, My Dear Melancholy, as much as everyone else said I would.
I’ve seen all the tweets about how his lyrics made clear references to his most recent past relationships with Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid. But as someone that is not too emotionally invested in celebrity gossip, these lyrics were not enough to pull me in and keep my attention.
This album contained many aspects reminiscent of Starboy, yet lacked its pizzazz and replaced that with apparent sadness and despair as both vocals and instrumentals demonstrated.
Containing only six tracks, this short EP makes for one greatly depressing collection. Much like the vicious cycle of actual depression, each song seems to indistinctly flow into one another, which creates the feeling of being trapped in never-ending, music-induced sorrow.
I somehow listened to the entire album without knowing that I reached the end of it. I was expecting at least one stand out, quirky song with some Daft Punk-esque beats, but I was extremely disappointed. There were no cool synth snares, throwback R&B vibes, or added flavor. In other words, My Dear Melancholy lacks proper and thorough seasoning.
The earlier lyrics of “Hurt You” are sang to the exact same tune and in the same tone as his track off of “The Black Panther” soundtrack called “Pray For Me.” But this new song lacks a rap lyrical genius like Kendrick Lamar and it does not maintain a head nod-inducing foundational beat and flow. I guess he was just too sad to take enough time to add more layers and depth.
There are times when sad music is great for coping with and understanding one’s feelings. But this is only effective if such songs are done right. I literally had to turn off this album to listen to one of Shawn Mendes’ also emotionally vulnerable single “In My Blood” because it’s more of a jammable sad song (and I want to marry Shawn Mendes one day).
I know that The Weeknd has a lot of talent as well as range in his voice. I even once referred to him as the modern Michael Jackson. The Weeknd is physically capable of generating music with an array of variation and perhaps even experiment a bit more, yet he did not dare step out of the bounds of his comfort zone on this EP. Perhaps, he was getting choked up crying too much at the studio to hit some higher or more soulful notes, I’m not quite sure what happened here.
For the sake of my own eardrums and happiness, it’s best for me to move past this album and look for different music. My next wave of intensive Spotify surfing will commence the second I remove my hand from these keys.