At a mere 21 minutes and 50 seconds I find it confusing to call this an album. Some regard it at one, but it’s an EP to me. Abel has toned down the pop vibes in favour of a Trilogy style track listing. It’s the darkest the Weeknd has been for some time, but how does it compare to trilogy?
The EP kicks off with the track Call Out My Name. Instantly you feel more of a connection to the pre-pop Weeknd we all know and love, the one we knew long before he was one of the biggest names in the industry. Easily the best track from this new EP as the darkened style suits The Weeknd much better. It might not be as commercially successful as his pop and dance track of the last two years, but it’s where Abel should be if he wants to improve.
Twitter blew up in every way imaginable over this release. The tin hats were out in force trying to make out that The Weeknd had made an entire EP based on a breakup with Selena Gomez. Think about it, Abel changed his entire style and lyricism because of a breakup. The idea behind that is simply ludicrous, it might play a small part but nothing to tweet about.
The Weeknd enlisted new help in the form of Skrillex and Gesaffelstein to help work on three of the six track EP, showing that Abel has time and again expanded his portfolio and evolved as an artist. The tracks are good tracks, but nothing that would make this a special EP, and certainly nothing that gets near the levels The Weeknd has set himself this decade.
I have one massive problem with this EP as a whole. It feels like a half hearted attempt at going back to the old days. If you’re gonna do it, do it properly. A six track EP that borders on the old days isn’t what I want from The Weeknd. Either go all out with the pop vibes (which are fun) or go back to The Trilogy (which is GOAT level). To drop a random six track EP that’s good but not great, simply puts Abel in limbo in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, I love The Weeknd, but when you drop The Trilogy followed by some pretty nifty albums, this EP becomes average. It’s the pressure you face when you’re at the level that Abel is.