Not only has The Weekdn turned the page for R&B, he's defined a new era of the genre. There's nothing quite as iconic as his smooth, sensual vocals and his dark, unforgettable beats. 2016's Starboy solidified his place as a true force to be reckoned with, but he's dropping a lot of that superstardom from his music and going back to the roots of his music. The Weeknd focussed on atmosphere in his new My Dear Melancholy, EP, making things super sensual by keeping things minimal.
Opening track 'Call Out My Name' really defines the EP perfectly. The gentle, enchanting piano intro acts as the vessel for The Weeknd's dark vocals, which recall: "We found each other, I helped you out of a broken place / You gave me comfort, but falling for you was my mistake." The song starts off barren, the percussion coming in as The Weeknd's passionately calls out, "So call out my name / Call out my name when I kiss you so gently... Girl, call out my name, and I'll be on my way." The build is brooding and The Weeknd's vocals dramatic and powerful, showing his range and the emotional capacity of his timbre.
The rest of the EP isn't quite as powerful as the opening track, but still is wholly enjoyable and definitively The Weeknd. The two collaborations with Gesaffelstein are quite interesting instrumentally, the focus of 'I Was Never Here' turning more on the dreaminess of the background than The Weeknd's delivery, with a fantastic beat change to go along with it. 'Hurt You' has that same crystalline aspect to it, complimenting The Weeknd's falsetto wonderfully. The EP focusses more and more on the beats as it goes, an electronic focus taking shape in 'Wasted Times,' while closing track 'Privilege' takes from the opening track and builds dramatically as he deals with the end of a relationship. If 'Call Out My Name' was the beginning of something beautiful, 'Privilege' is the end of it.
The Weeknd focusses on atmosphere in My Dear Melancholy, an EP that really channels the sensual nature of his music. It's minimal and not overbearing, feeling intimate and very raw, which suits his style perfectly. The Weeknd steps out of the spotlight on this one, and reveals something truly personal in the process.
Favorite Tracks: Call Out My Name, Privilege, I Was Never There
Least Favorite Track: Hurt You
Rating: 85 / 100
Stream or buy My Dear Melancholy, on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: