Review: My Dear Melancholy, by the Weeknd

My Dear Melancholy, by the WeekndAh, another surprise album release. We’re used to this now. This time it’s the Weeknd, who’s suddenly risen to the heights of pop stardom after tinking away with chill tracks for a cooler than cool audience. The surprise factor is interesting, as is the decision to return to the sound that made him popular in the first place. Sort of. My Dear Melancholy, – comma at the end, yes – returns to the moody, but with a bit more sparkle, an uptick in tricks with the help of all-star collaborators like Skrillex and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, one-half of Daft Punk. He’s somewhat returned triumphantly to the sound: the twenty-minute runtime means this one’s far more consistent than Starboy, but some songs really do drag the EP. For every “Wasted Times” which strikes the balance nicely there’s a “Hurt You” that you force yourself to sit through. But then, it could be much worse. It could be a mess. This one, you can get behind of, never mind the sadness that does permeate. [NB]3/5

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