It’s 4.20am I awake from my sleep half dazed, semi conscious & baffled. Reaching for my phone somehow calling people despite not being conscious. As I just about get ready to slip back into sleep it hits! “The Weeknd has dropped” thus leading to me being wide awake scrambling for my earphones my mind, body and soul was ready. Ready but wary, about what my ears were about to be subjected to; what transpired is a tale within itself…..
I first started listening to The Weeknd back in 2010/11 as i’m sure did most the population his sound was, ironically. Melancholy is the best way to describe it. Dark, sad; raw. Drug infused; self abusive alcohol induced confessions about fucking away his pain and sedating his demons and numbing himself enough to forget. And my god was it brilliant. It spoke to me. He may as well have been talking about my life.
Echoes Of Silence
House Of Balloons
They were masterpieces; pivotal soundtracks to my life in all its instability, disorganisation and all around mess that it was. Sadly not much has changed. Funny as The Weeknd releases something, dark. Raw & hazy or somewhat reminiscent life enters the same realm. He was the first artist i’d heard with the woozy, dark RnB sound that is now synonymous with Toronto & OVO amongst counterparts like Bryson Tiller; Nav so on & so forth. So what stood out about this EP & exactly what could I have possibly drawn from it by just listening to it on repeat 600 times over?
Standouts Of The EP
To me this is the biggest thing i’ve seen a lot of people come out in it’s short existence and say “6 songs is too short, I want more” I get it; but to me 6 songs is perfect; and more than enough an ode perhaps to his earlier work a minimal amount of deep cuts that fit the mood, sound & concepts. This is where “Starboy” & “Beauty Behind The Madness” were let down too much, most of which were fillers and not needed. Which meant by far his two worst projects were also in turn long distant afterthoughts after first listens.
Return To His Roots
I and maybe many have wanted this for so long The Weeknd is an incredible artist, his alure and mystique comes from his rawness, his vulnerability. His pain & his constant battle with himself. It’s selfish that as a fan. All I want is the dark, treacherous sounds. The ballads of being a piece of shit who doesn’t deserve to be loved. But were this EP stands alone is he talks about himself yes; but also how others made him feel and that I can relate too.
(Sidenote) I think the production is exquisite on this EP very well thought out and makes the whole thing flow.
We found each other
I helped you out of a broken place
You gave me comfort
But falling for you was my mistake.
Oi wheel up this caught me off guard straight from the get go
I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied
I almost cut a piece of myself for your life
Guess I was just another pit stop
‘Til you made up your mind
You just wasted my time
You’re on top.
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
Don’t you tempt me.
Wasted times I spent with someone else
She wasn’t even half of you
Reminiscin’ how you felt
Reminiscin’ how you felt
And even though you put my life through hell
I can’t seem to forget ’bout you, ’bout you
I want you to myself.
Real life part 1
And now I’m askin’, who do you belong to now?
Who you give that love to now?
Who you pullin’ up on?
Who you gettin’ sprung for now?
And what they got that I ain’t got? ‘Cause I got a lot
Don’t make me run up on ’em, got me blowin’ up their spot
‘Cause I ain’t got no business catchin’ feelings anyway
I ain’t got no business catchin’ feelings.
Real life Part 2
What makes a grown man wanna cry?
What makes him wanna take his life?
His happiness is never real
And mindless sex is how he feels.
I wheeled this like 10 times cause, he sang the realness.
When you’re with him, you close your eyes and think of me
Just call me up again
I’ll make you weak
Girl, I’ll come to put myself between your lips
Not between your heart
Can’t you see?
Enjoy your privileged life
‘Cause I’m not gonna hold you through the night
We said our last goodbyes
So, let’s just try to end it with a smile.
Damn, bro right in the feels.
Those were some of my standout verses/ lyrics.
Overall I love this EP and its everything I wanted it to be some songs will grow Call Out My Name & Wasted Time are by far my two favourites at the minute. The production, the vibe. Its density and the fact its unapologetically Abel, I like to pretend the BBTM & Starboy albums never happened. Also the title of this EP is suggests more is on the way.
Kudos Abel Mokkonen Tesfaye, take your seat amongst us we understand you had to experiment but we need you to give us dark, twisted tales. It’s good to have you back.