The king of the fall time has returned, except this time, he has made an appearance in the spring. Artist, The Weeknd, otherwise known as Abel Tesfaye, released his newest studio album titled, “After Hours,” on March 20, and it was terrific.
The Canadian artist begins the album with two songs that carry the same sort of theme in terms of lyrics, and they’re overall sad, but still outstanding songs. “Alone Again” and “Too Late” are both songs that entail details of heartbreak. Tesfaye has been through very public relationships in the past few years, so its understandable for such raw emotion to be placed in these songs, and the realness from Tesfaye’s end is what makes these two songs so great.
The next two songs that follow are “Hardest To Love” and “Scared To Live,” which personally are my two favorite songs on the album. “Hardest To Love” is very on-brand with The Weeknd’s usual self-deprecating lyrics with a fun, upbeat beat behind them. “Scared to Live,” on the other hand, is a lot slower, with lyrics that are most focused on a past relationship with “the one that got away.” In the song, Tesfaye is encouraging them too go on and live their life again, even if it is without him.
“Faith” is track eight on the album and falls pretty much in the middle of the album. The first half of the song reminds me heavily of “Starboy” Tesfaye, while the rest of the songs, and album, gives me more of a “Kissland” Tesfaye impression. It starts off more upbeat, with some X-rated lyrics, and then transitions into a song that a lot slower and more serious. The song is overall phenomenal, and it shows the two different sides of The Weeknd, all in one song.
“In Your Eyes,” “Blinding Lights,” and “Save Your Tears” all have the same sort of techno-like beat that serves as quite the contrast to his heartbroken lyrics. These songs all serve as a progression from the first four songs on the album that is all about Tesfaye’s mistakes in his previous relationships. These three songs show how Tesfaye’s views on these mistakes have shifted from sadness to appreciation. The beat in “In Your Eyes,” “Blinding Lights,” and “Save Your Tears” has a lot to do with this shift. These three songs are more upbeat and fun, which is a huge contrast to the sad, slower beat in “Alone Again.”
The album ends with a song titled “Until I Bleed Out.” This song follows the sad and slow trend of the beginning of the album, rather than the more upbeat and fun trend of the lower half of the middle. This is the perfect ending for this album. The way this song wraps back to the beginning of the album makes the project as a whole feel very cohesive.
As a Weeknd junkie, I think this album deserves a 9.8/10, only because I think it deserved some features. The deluxe version did have a Lil Uzi Vert feature, but this wasn’t enough. Besides that, I think the album was phenomenal, and I would rank it high on my list of The Weeknd’s top-ranking projects. I’d highly recommend for anyone to listen to this album, regardless of their initial music taste.