My Dear Melancholy Album Review
By Camille Sery-Ble
First things first:
Shout out to The Weeknd fans who have had Trilogy on repeat since 2012, hoping for a revival of the authentic and somber Abel. He has done it again! On March 30th, The Weeknd released his EP, My Dear Melancholy, featuring six heartfelt songs. It has been rumored that the EP is written based on his previous relationships with Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez. However, even without the context of his personal life, a true fan of The Weeknd hears the maturity and realness revealed in each song’s message.
In 2011, the world was gifted with free downloads to three mixtapes; House of Balloons , Thursday , and Echoes of Silence . The then 21-year-old did not sing of love or true heartbreak. His sweet, lofty melodies were dedicated to the numb atmosphere of lust, sex, and drug abuse. It was music that made people feel high just listening to it. His partying experiences were translated in the production of his songs and listeners could ride along on his inebriated trips. At this time, the description of his encounters with women were passionately impassionate. His lyrics reflected his admiration of being with young women, but never falling in love; he describes the women as broken, drug abusers, and strippers. As a listener, you can travel with The Weeknd through the pain, lust, and fun as the somber theme resonates in all three mixtapes. If you enjoy his sound in Trilogy- a compilation of the three mixtapes- you will appreciate the sound and growth of My Dear Melancholy.
Seven years and three Grammy Awards later, The Weeknd is mainstream and has endured love and public embarrassment. In his first song on the EP, “Call Out My Name,” he speaks on his experience being in a relationship where he extended his love to a troubled woman by helping her “out of a broken place”. Many sources speculate that he is speaking of his relationship with Selena Gomez and her complications with lupus in 2017. This is especially telling when he says “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life”, implying that he almost gave her one of his kidneys. There are other speculative clues throughout the EP that can be connected to Selena and Bella. The song “Wasted Times” is by far the most reminiscent of 2011 The Weeknd, especially when the beat drops from a falsetto to a deep bass. My Dear Melancholy shows fans a more sensitive and matured side to The Weeknd, while still expressing his original numbing sounds of his past. Rather than inebriated trips, The Weeknd’s lyrics takes the listener on the roller coaster trip of embarrassment, anger, love, and lust for his past partner, which can be much more relatable to a larger audience.
For several years now, The Weeknd has been able to create music for all occasions and has catered to the mainstream pop and hip-hop world successfully. In his EP, My Dear Melancholy, The Weeknd takes listeners back to the sound of 2011, but with an experience of heartbreak and maturity that anyone can relate to.
Edited by Sydney Hamilton