After little to no build up or announcement, the Grammy award-winning artist, The Weeknd released an EP, My Dear Melancholy,. The project shows that The Weeknd at least for the moment is back to his dark R&B roots. After the release of Starboy the album, many thought The Weeknd was moving away from the R&B style he first started with to more of an electric pop sound like “Starboy” or “Can’t Feel My Face.”
My Dear Melancholy, is, for better or worse, The Weeknd going back to his dark place. In the time between this album and his last The Weeknd started and ended a very publicized relationship. That relationship seems to be the foundation of this project as listeners hear the artist try to figure out what is next for him. Songs like “Hurt You” and “I Was Never There” has The Weeknd talking about his past relationship and his mindset going forward.
Musically My Dear Melancholy, is closer to The Weeknd’s earlier works like Kiss Land and the Trilogy. For core fans this album might seem like The Weeknd catering an entire project for them. After extremely successful projects like Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy it seemed like from a financial standpoint and creative standpoint he had no reason to go back to more darker R&B his early fans had fell in love with.
The album does not only show a change in the music, but also a change in how much he releases. The project only has six songs on it,which is a big drop off from the previous two albums which had more than 12 songs on them. This shift could signify The Weeknd getting away from the big pop-like albums and going with the less-is-more approach.
My Dear Melancholy, is a depressing love letter to core fans, but in a good way. After going through what seemed to be a crazy two years, The Weeknd reverted back to what he does best. As The Weeknd sings through his heartbreak, he doesn’t use the upbeat electronic pop but instead just gives the listener himself. For an artist who for the most part is very private, this project expressess an openness of The Weeknd than he has shown his fans in several years.
All in all this album is wonderfully nostalgic. It does not see The Weeknd trying something new or different, but instead going back to what his fans grew to love. The album may not be as commercially successful as his previous projects and that is okay. This album could mark the musical change The Weeknd is preparing to go forward with in the future.