Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The Weeknd " My Dear Melancholy"
I was afraid that he might have become too preoccupied with being a TMZ personality and consumed with the celebrity of being a celebrity or trying to make comic books to focus on music. He has had enough in the way of personal drama to fuel a song or two , but would this happen. If he pushed the pop envelope further I felt he was going to lose what set him apart from the other mainstream r&b singers, though artist could apply to him the same can't be said of his peers who are closer to being entertainers than musicians. My fears were laid to rest as picks up where he left off before "the Beauty Behind the Madness" . It has a much darker feel to it and employs some of the pitch shifted vocals that remind me witch-house. "Hurt You" is the only song that really strikes me as coming from the era of the "Star Boy". This is mainly do to the beat which has more of an 80's 808 sound and a few bpms more up-tempo than the other murky ballads.
The six songs breeze by pretty quickly. I think with all the press in his personal life we know who these songs are about. It is a similar brand of ballad as "Earned It" though with less sex fueled momentum. It's more introspective and shows him feeling sorry for himself. "Try Me" feels like an over all better song. Musically the production is more interesting and experiments a little. He floats up into a falsetto. The chorus is chanted with more of a hip hop hook to it. He has some pretty good lines in "Wasted Times" like his dick is in auction and if you are an equestrian then ride it like a champion. We also get more of the witch house pitch shifted vocals and a more interesting beat. It is slicker than when he used to do this sort of thing, but more money is changing hands when he goes into a studio these days. There is a weird juxtaposition between the darker current running under the synths on "I Was Never There " and the more hopeful melody of the vocals. The vocals feel less focused and more like they are wandering around the song. The hook is more focused on "Hurt You" which I have already mentioned. I am not sure I feel the same depth of emotion on this one, but it's a decent song.
The album closes with "Privilege" which is thick on the atmosphere and more minimal. Vocally its a fine performance, think it could use a more solid beat, but as far as pop ballads go it's better than most. The first song he really mentioned drugs, so I think he might be sobering up a bit in real life. No coke references. I'll round it up to a 9.5, not his strongest work , but good enough to fit along side the other albums for now.