After Hours: It’s finally The Weeknd!


Courtesy of The Weeknd’s Twitter

The Weeknd makes his long-awaited comeback, delivering his soft but powerful pitches; and with songs featuring lively and energetic beats, After Hours exhilarates his fanbase. Abel Tesfaye dropped his new album portraying his vulnerability and naked emotion, referring and admitting to his fight for and within himself, all the while hurting others along the way. With this upbeat, 80s styled take on the new album, Tesfaye does not fail to disappoint once again.

Julyana Ayache, Staff

Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as The Weeknd, makes his comeback, dominating the realm of alternative R&B music once again. On March 20th, Tesfaye finally released his new album After Hours making social distancing more thrilling than intended. 

After Hours consists of 14 tracks (including his prior releases “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” and “After Hours”), compared to the 6 on his 2018 EP, My Dear Melancholy. Unlike the EP, which highlights the obvious pain and memories from his past relationships with Selena Gomez and on and off lover Bella Hadid, After Hours projects a balanced recovery and reflection of himself that he presents in this new album.

Tesfaye welcomes his listeners to his signature hypnotic, 80s synth-based style with “Alone Again” and “Too Late.” “Alone Again” starts off smooth, with faint music and kicks up about halfway through the song singing about his loss of identity: 

Take off my disguise

I’m living someone else’s life

Suppressing who I was inside

This song introduces his album, pointing out his personal take of self reclamation for this album, as its subject differs from his previous albums like Starboy and Beauty Behind the Madness.

“Too Late” holds a similar style of production, but instead sees Tesfaye singing to someone as he admits his mistakes. He also shows how the media has contributed to his unjust actions, cleverly singing:

We’re in Hell, it’s disguised as a paradise with flashing lights

His use of the phrase “flashing lights” references paparazzi and the mask that Hollywood wears to cover its miseries. Then he additionally mentions in “Too Late:”

“I can’t trust (I can’t trust) where I live (Where I live) anymore.”

Tesfaye acknowledges his personal changes and how they affect him negatively to the point where he feels the need to escape, hence track 6’s title: “Escape From LA.”

To continue his story Tesfaye tells about his relationships through the tracks, “Escape From LA”, “Save Your Tears,” “In Your Eyes”, “Hardest to Love”, “Scared to Live”, “After Hours” and “Repeat After Me (Interlude).” Despite the darker title, “Save Your Tears” incorporates a brighter beat while carrying on the 80s music trend through the album, while “Escape From LA” and “After Hours” carry a darker vibe to them. These three tracks make up a recollection of his emotions towards his relationships. In “Escape From LA” specifically, he addresses rumors regarding his relationship and recognizes Los Angeles’ effect on his actions that allude to a loss of control that he mentions in previous tracks, “Alone Again” and “Too Late.” In “Hardest to Love”, Tesfaye admits his fault in the relationship that leads to his partner to be “Scared to Live” again.

“After Hours,” the title track and the third released promotional song, finds Tesfaye apologize for his wrongdoing in a failed relationship while exposing his desire for reconciliation. He sings:

“I know it’s all my fault

I’ll treat you better than I did before

I’ll hold you down and not let you go

This time, I won’t break your heart, your heart, no”

In this track, he shows guilt towards his partner, rather than his regrets towards himself. The track holds the same kickstart in the middle of the song as “Alone Again,” which seems like a unique direction taken throughout this album. This track’s music and darker vibe and tone recalls Tesfaye’s earlier album Trilogy, that retains pain and heartbreak. 

The remaining tracks, “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”, (which were released prior to the album’s debut) tie into “Faith” and “Snowchild.” These songs maintain the powerful flow of energetic beats working with ominous lyrics. More specifically,  “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” build off his loose lifestyle previously practiced that leads to his realization in “Faith” and “Snowchild” as Tesfaye opens up about past drug addiction and his loss of control in himself that he repeats in previous tracks due to his misbehaviors. 

Tesfaye ends After Hours with the track “Until I Bleed Out,” where it signifies how all his encounters and lessons drained him. He displays his feeling:

I just wanna feel the ground when I’m coming down

It’s been way too long

And I don’t even wanna get high no more

I just want it out of my life

After Hours holds its place as the most enlivening and deeper album released by Tesfaye, as he presents himself in the most vulnerable light. With his fans rallied up for this brand new release, the album deserves its press and build up as Tesfaye proves his true talent and passion. 


The Chant’s Grade: A