By: Papa Minnow
Abel strategically capitalized off his artist title “The Weeknd” by surprising us with My Dear Melancholy, a 22 minute heartbreak EP, on Easter weekend, the biggest weekend of the year. In it he dives into the depths of his breakups, which serve as the fuel to his dark and somber lyrical vehicle. Now here’s the ride…
Call Out My Name
There’s absolutely no way one can listen to Call Out My Name and not get in their feels, to say otherwise would either make you a liar or a sociopath, take your pick. That somber delivery of the opening bars lulls the listener into a dark space where we’re immediately flooded with the heartache of past partners.
Even as I listen and write this, there’s three girls I feel I should reach out to right now to get that spark back…smh. It’s very much reminiscent of the Abel we used to know…
The opening moments reference the relationship he formed with ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, whom he dated for several months, after they had both come out of public relationships.
We found each other
I helped you out of a broken place
You gave me comfort
But falling for you was my mistake
I put you on top, I put you on top
I claimed you so proud and openly
And when times were rough, when times were rough
I made sure I held you close to me
It’s here where we learn of Abel’s feelings of being in a one-sided relationship with Selena, as he felt he did a lot for her only to have her break his heart. It’s in this build up that we get a strong vocal performance on the chorus where he belts out that he still wanted her, even though she no longer wanted him.
He also wished for her to give him the chance to fall out of love with her before moving on, and through it all, he felt that she wasted his time.
It’s a sentiment that anyone who’s ever loved more in a relationship can relate to. Abel even goes so far as to say that he would have given his own kidney for her, when she unfortunately dealt with Lupus.
I almost cut a piece of myself for your life
It’s a great opener that’s emotionally charged with feelings of desire and wonder that initially plagues the mind of the broken hearted. And it’s backed by mesmerizing production, which sounded familiar (Earned It is the sample), and heart wrenching vocals. One of the best songs on the EP.
Last week I spent like three hours straight listening to this on repeat. Try Me is a hit.
It features some Marvin’s Room-esque lyrics in which the Weeknd is involved with a woman (Selena) who may still be involved with another man (Bieber), but the catch here is that he’s unaware of where he stands.
I didn’t know you were down for him finding out
I thought you had some kind of love for your man
Well, I’m not tryna break up something
You’ve been workin’ out, you’ve been steady
But I’m ready to go all the way if you let me
He expresses how he’s not trying to ruin anything for her, but if she’s willing to go all the way so is he.
This song could easily fit on any of the Trilogy mixtapes. And everything in this song just works: from the writing (“The way I kissed your scars”), to the delivery, (“Let me knowwww if it’s on”) to the production (the dark and eerie synths): they’re all a nod to the Abel we grew to love.
This is the song you play to get back with your ex.
Wasted times I spent with someone else
She wasn’t even half of you
DAMN. So we’re just going to start off like that? The level of disrespect here is wild, how are you gonna send a shot like that on pop beat like this fam?
Wasted Times continues this EP’s strong opening as an up-beat song with huge radio potential. It’s also the follow-up to Call Out My Name, in which Abel expressed that his relationship with Selena felt like a waste of time.
This song, however, is tied to his previous ex; Bella Hadid, whom he’s reminiscing of past feelings for, but can’t commit with.
When he says:
These girls only want you when you’re winnin’ (winnin’)
But you’ve been with me from the beginnin’
It’s hard not to feel that.
From start to finish this song is a bop that goes. The hook is really well done, and that Skrillex drop at the end adds another element that takes the song to another level. It’s easily in contention for the best song on the album.
I Was Never There
For me this is where the EP’s strong streak ends. Don’t get me wrong, I Was Never There is a good track, but it’s not an absolute favourite off the EP…at least when it comes to the first half of the song.
As powerful as the lyrics are in the first verse, where we get a glimpse into his psyche (“What makes him wanna take his life? His happiness is never real), the sirens in the intro are annoying and the lyrics in the hook are basic.
However, the switch up in the second half is wonderfully done and that’s where the song starts to shine:
Ooh, now I know what love is
And I know it ain’t you for sure
You’d rather something toxic
So, I poison myself again, again
Abel peels back the layers of his pain, which this time is tied to a woman whom he repeatedly hurts himself over for, instead of that pain being tied to drugs. It’s an interesting shift into his perspective.
Starboy vibes all over this one. Both Starboy and I Feel It Coming are sampled on this so it makes sense.
Hurt You focuses on a woman who can’t seem to find love with anyone else so she’s looking for love with The Weeknd, but that’s not the kind of love he’s looking for, so he’d rather not hurt her.
It’s a cool song, not one that I’ll run to hit play on, but if it comes on I’ll listen. There’s not much more to say considering his whole cadence and energy is off the Starboy album.
When I first heard the crackling in the background coupled with the rising tones of the piano keys, I knew this song was going to be on one. Serving as the outro song, Privilege is where Abel comes to terms with the reality of his breakup.
He did all he could during his relationship to help support and improve her, but her choice to return to a toxic relationship is now all on her:
And I don’t wanna hear that you are suffering
You are suffering no more
‘Cause I held you down when you were suffering
You were suffering
While the lyrical content on this song isn’t the strongest, the feel and emotional output more than make up for it. But, there is lyrical content as Abel references the Matrix when he says, I got two red pills to take the blues away.
The red pill refers to the harsh truth, an option Neo was provided by Morpheus in the movie. The blue pill was to remain in wonderland, a false reality. In this lyric, The Weeknd could be referring to self medicating to get over the pain, or facing a real harsh truth by taking two red pills over a blue one.
With a short and sweet runtime of 2:50, he expresses how quickly he’s over the relationship and caps off a strong finish to a great EP.