Grammy Award-winning artist The Weeknd delivers a surprise by releasing a six-track “House of Balloons-esque” album titled “My Dear Melancholy.”
For many supporters of The Weeknd, it was expected that his next project would touch on an older version of himself, especially after facing back to back heartbreaks.
However, the verdict on who or what the album is about is still to be discovered. But before pressing play, there are some important details to point out. First, the very ominous cover art certainly dates back to past works such as “Beauty Behind the Madness” and “Trilogy”. This clue is most definitely hinting at a darker side of The Weeknd where he often poured his drug-induced heart out. Secondly, the title “ My Dear Melancholy” directly explains his feeling as of late, very pensive and stricken with sadness. Although melancholy can mean sadness with no direct cause, many continue to speculate that this album is a direct response to the mutual breakup between himself and Selena Gomez; after all, she did go back to ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber a little too soon for comfort.
After addressing the outer shell, its time to dive inside the music. The album starts off with a yearning single titled, “Call Out My Name”. The records slow tempo intensifies the longing The Weeknd has as he sings his sorrows in melodic distress while explaining so genuinely all he did to give “her” support.
“We found each other
I helped you out of a broken place
You gave me comfort
But falling for you was a mistake
I put you on top, I put you on top
I claimed you so proud and openly
And when times were rough, when times were rough
I made sure I held you close to me”
-Lyrics via Apple Music
photo via GQ
The album will go on to progress softly, not only with its story, but Electric/R&B cadence mastered by none other than The Weeknd with help from French Techno DJ, Gesaffelstein. Combining lyrics like “You try to fill the void with every man you meet ‘cause your upset with me” accompanied by echoing tones and quick produced snares to create “Hurt You”.
The Weeknd ends the project with a sort outro titled “Privilege” where he seemingly comes to peace with separation, finding comfort in “two red pills, to take the blues away”.
Straying far from the quick pace and extraterrestrial genre of past album “Starboy”; “My Dear Melancholy” directly encapsulates a modern day relationship including overbearing amounts of lust, sex, intoxication, entitlement, and jealousy.
Painting vividly with lyrics so intense yet delivering with a voice so seductive, The Weeknd is able to convey the pull on his heart. In 22 minutes The Weeknd has successfully shaken up suppressed emotions of all who have lost love and reintroduced the world to the explicit sound so many had originally fallen in love with.