New Music Review:
- The Weeknd – ‘My Dear Melancholy,’
- S-X – ‘Reasons’
- D’Shay – ‘Thank My Enemies’
The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy,
This surprise release by The Weeknd – an artist who needs no introduction – caught everyone off guard. Abel Tesfaye decided to release it two days after posting a picture of a text conversation where he says ‘Should we drop Friday?’. The internet was sent into a frenzy in anticipation for an album from The Weeknd… although that’s not exactly what they got. Instead, a six-track EP dropped, and from the album artwork and the title, it was clear before listening that this was going to be a very different project to his last, the dance-fueled Starboy.
My Dear Melancholy, strips back all the bravado and colour of Starboy and provides a sound that wouldn’t have been out of place on his renowned 2012 project, Trilogy, which was comprised of House of Balloons, Echoes of Silence, and Thursday. Downbeat, emotional and exquisitely produced is how I’d describe this project from The Weeknd, which, although, like HipHopDX said, ‘doesn’t break any new ground’, is on par with the brilliance of Trilogy; My Dear Melancholy, is a triumphant return to his origins that can be played on repeat, the chilled vibe emanating from each song. Fans of The Weeknd’s earlier work are going to love this. Each song on My Dear Melancholy, is flawless, the instrumentals and Abel’s voice providing the materials for an excellent return to the emotional side of the artist.
Track of the album: ‘Call Out My Name’
S-X – Reasons
Wolverhampton-based producer S-X has had a very well-received first few months since he delved into the world of being the singer, coming out of the producer role and taking centre stage. This project encapsulates how far he has come in a relatively short space of time, featuring the likes of Lily Allen and JME in two excellent songs, ‘Something Better’ and ‘Nowhere’ respectively.
Reasons features previously-released songs ‘Everytime’, ‘Waste Time’ and ‘Think It’s Me’, all of which have already been praised. Anyone who was worried they’d heard the best of what S-X had to offer will be pleased to know that S-X continues his stunning consistency throughout Reasons. Aside from the aforementioned features, Nevve is featured on third track Stay, a really smooth song showcasing both S-X and Nevve’s voices, which work perfectly together.
‘Turn Me Down’, ‘Distant’ and ‘Over You’ showcase everything that S-X does so well; flawless production and confident vocals capable of taking us on a journey from dancing around the room to chill vibes effortlessly. Definitely one to check out if you haven’t already. Not to mention – S-X has his second show coming up later this month, and two more projects, and a tour, happening this year. The guy is making serious moves.
Track of the album: ‘Nowhere (feat. JME)’
D’Shay – Thank My Enemies
(Proudly) South-East London rapper D’Shay’s debut project, Thank My Enemies, has a lot to be praised. Rapidly gaining attention for his unique style and successful numbers – over 1 million streams on SoundCloud, and tens of thousands of YouTube views – this album is ambitious, well-produced and really shows off D’Shay’s versatility.
The 12-track album consists of three previous releases, ‘Swag’, ‘What You Tellin’ Me’ and his remix of Konan’s ‘Last Night in LA’. The other nine are previously unreleased songs, but they’re far from album fillers. Each one has a distinct sound; opening track ‘No Regrets’ has a memorable instrumental and hook, ‘Trap’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ take the album to a conventional contemporary rap vibe. D’Shay, eager to showcase his talent, slows Thank My Enemies down with the second half of the album, ‘Gold’, and ‘Apologies Interlude’ two highlights from this part of the project.
Overall a very solid first album, worth the time and effort that has clearly been put in to making sure every aspect is perfect. This is no joke project, and there’s definitely a lot of promise for D’Shay going forward.
Track of the album: ‘Trap’