The Weeknd has played a huge role in the hiphop and RnB music scene in the past ten years. Before Abel, RnB music was notorious for its sexy love songs, relatable break-up tracks and its soulful yet smooth instrumentals. Once his debut project, “Trilogy” released in 2012, the RnB game changed forever. Sure, there have been incredible voices in music before —Usher and Chris Brown, just to name a few, but the content and overall image that Abel has delivered to the public has completely revolutionized the way people listen to music. In fact, we still feel the force of The Weeknd’s influence in music today, with many current artists imitating his sound and lyricism.
The Weeknd’s dark, druggy sad-boy image has caused millions to listen to him with a new kind of interest. His music content isn’t the simple RnB love song that many were used to. The Weeknd’s work has explicitly mentioned the deliberate use of narcotics as well as infidelity and mental illness in such a way that listeners have never heard before. However, I wouldn’t assume that this means his music glorifies drugs, sex and depression, but I will say that his music is incredibly raw. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat his projects in order to appeal to the world. Instead, he makes music that understands the misfits of society.
The Weeknd’s “My Dear Melancholy,” despite its short length, has proven to be another international success. This isn’t an opinion, either — the Billboard 200 shows the EP to be No. 1. With six songs total and the project being only 21 minutes long, “My Dear Melancholy,” is the shortest project to top the charts in eight years. Contrary to his latest commercial project “Starboy,” which consists of a lot of Michael Jackson-inspired pop (but still remains lyrically dark and controversial), Abel has gone back to his roots in “My Dear Melancholy,” by creating a heart-wrenching, somber and intoxicating RnB sound once again. The project focuses on one consistent theme – toxic relationships. Abel mentions his experiences falling in love, getting heartbroken, rebounding in relationships, missing exes and moving on. To be straight forward about the EP as a whole, everyone and their mothers will be able to relate to such lyrics.
“My Dear Melancholy,” isn’t only impressive in its thematic qualities. The soundtrack will have you hypnotized. In my opinion, Abel’s instrumentals have improved with time. He has mastered the ability to equally please the listener in poetry and sonically impress his audience simultaneously. There isn’t one part of the project where I don’t feel like I’m listening to anything short of a masterpiece.
I have always been a fan of The Weeknd ever since I found out he was one of the writers for Drake’s debut album, “Take Care.” He’s one of those artists that has proven himself to not be a puppet of the music industry, but an artist that is capable of dominating both behind-the-scenes and on-stage dominance.