“My Dear Melancholy,” is a return to the explicit R&B that made The Weeknd famous and his third Billboard No. 1 album in a row. The thematic conflict exposes his disconnection from the emotions of heartbreak with drug use and fully-enabled lust.
At this point in his career The Weeknd is a worldwide star, sharing his heartbreak and trying to combat vulnerability has a powerful impact on fans.
He sings powerfully, only wavering in falsetto to creatively distance himself and show weakness. While performing “Call Out My Name” as a headliner at Coachella music festival April 13, the background music was stripped down and The Weeknd shed tears towards the end of the song while singing at full volume.
Theorists claim the EP was somewhat inspired by The Weeknd’s ten-month relationship with Selena Gomez.
Lines like “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life / Guess I was just another pit stop till you made up your mind,” allude to how last year Gomez required a kidney transplant and he cancelled million dollar shows to be by her bedside.
This lyric incites speculation he was a potential donor and is upset she rekindled her relationship with Justin Bieber soon after their breakup.
Each song has expansive range. He delivers lines with effortless bounds between notes, making the songs impressive to the ear and difficult to sing in perfect tune.
He writes from the first person and works closely with producers to create atmospheric music. Effective storytelling ability helps the listener identify, but he’s singing about high profile romances, the effects of celebrity and casual drug use.
The video released with the song “Try Me” puts the viewer in a direct FaceTime with The Weeknd singing for you in the passenger seat of a limo. Through the partition the viewer sees several women partying; he falls in and you join, too.
Before he became an icon, he broke out a new era of explicit R&B from Toronto, with a voice drawing comparison to Michael Jackson’s that revolutionized popular style.
In his return to darkness, the “King of the Fall” ends with a short, piercing ballad, “Privilege,” that captures the self-contained heartbreak that saturates “My Dear Melancholy,”.
The bridge goes, “And I’ma fuck the pain away, and I know I’ll be OK / They said our love is just a game, I don’t care what they say / But I’ma drink the pain away, I’ll be back to my old ways / And I got two red pills to take the blues away, oh.”