By Nadir Roberts
The end of March proved to be a musical goldmine of new releases. New tunes came from the likes of Harry Hudson, Rich the Kid, DJ ESCO and the most awaited, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye — better known as The Weeknd.
Ironically, The Weeknd released a six-song EP on a weekday, Thursday, March 30, titled “My Dear Melancholy,.”
From the title alone, fans could tell that Tesfaye was drifting away from his “Starboy” pop-esque radio vibes and digging deep to where he once was in music. The grungy vivid lyrics about drugs, love, lust and pain that once captivated and moved his fans are now back.
This is the first EP by the Weeknd, and fans were disappointed by the brevity of the project. It is just 22 minutes long, but this also makes it easy to break down the lyrical content and pick up all of the Selena Gomez shade. This new project is clearly a breakup EP that lays out the personal ghosts that have been haunting him.
The EP begins with “Call Out My Name,” a track that plainly details the relationship of Tesfaye and Gomez.
Shockingly, The Weeknd sang out “I said I didn’t feel nothing baby, but I lied, I almost cut a piece of myself for your life” in the first track.
Gomez, who suffers from Lupus, an incurable systemic autoimmune disease, needed a kidney for a transplant during the summer of 2017. Fortunately she received the kidney from her best friend and “Bring It On” actress, Francia Raisa.
The project is great for getting the listener to think deeply. The sadness creeps through with every synth, high note and lustful lyric.
In the closing song, “Privilege,” Tesfaye talks about his relationship with Gomez as well as his drug use. In the chorus, he sings in his synthesized voice, “I got two red pills to take the blues away.”
Though short and simple, it is a perfect line with a double entendre. It references the red and blue pills from “The Matrix,” in which Neo takes the red pills to stay in the Matrix, then describes the red pills as antidepressants to keep the “blues” away.
French DJ and Techno artist Gesaffelstein was featured twice in the six-track project. Gesaffelstein has worked with many popular artists, including Kanye West and Lana Del Rey.
Featured on both “I Was Never There” and “Hurt You,” Gesaffelstein’s presence is known. The intro to “I Was Never There” resembles the same high pitched siren-esque sound that was present in Kanye West’s song “Send it Up,” on his album “Yeezus” which he also helped produce.
Tesfaye starts off “Hurt You” by sounding a bit hurt himself. He says, “And now I know relationships my enemy, so stay away from me, I’m warning you.”
Clearly, this is Tesfaye telling the next girl he is with that she cannot expect too much from him, and that he simply does not want to hurt her, most likely because he is not over his previous girl.
Similarly, the intro to “Hurt You” has strong “I Feel It Coming” vibes, which makes sense because Daft Punk member Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo helped produce both songs.
The content of “My Dear Melancholy,” provides the lyrics that longtime fans have longed for — and are still craving — from the 2012 Weeknd they loved. However, the EP lacks variety. Since two of the six songs to sound quite similar to previous works, it comes off repetitive, especially since the the tracks are ordered back-to-back on the EP.
Overall, the project is a good dose of The Weeknd to hold fans over until he comes out with a more developed studio album.