The Weeknd – “After Hours” review

The Weeknd is a 30 year old singer & songwriter from Toronto, Canada that rose to stardom in the early 2010s with a trilogy of highly acclaimed mixtapes: House of Balloons, Thursday & Echoes of Silence. He then made his full-length debut in 2013 with Kiss Land, which was followed up in 2015 with Beauty Behind the Madness & then Starboy the year after. Last we heard from Abel was in 2018 with his debut EP My Dear Melancholy, & almost 2 years later now, he’s back with his 4th full-length album.

The opener “Alone Again” finds Abel sings about substance abuse over a glimmering instrumental from Frank Dukes & Illangelo, but then the drums kick in around the 2nd half & just hit you hard. The next track “Too Late” talks about how he & Bella Hadid are on their own now over a cool UK garage instrumental while the song “Hardest to Love” talks about how it isn’t easy for his past lovers to let him go over a liquid drum & bass instrumental. The track “Scared to Live” is basically an apology to his exes over a gorgeous synth lead & some punchy drums while the song “Snowchild” talks about wanting to be famous at 16 & now he doesn’t want the fame anymore over a futuristic instrumental.

The track “Escape from LA” talks about how Los Angeles will be the end of him over a melancholic instrumental from Metro Boomin’ while the song “Heartless” talks about being just that over a decent trap beat. The track “Faith” talks about relapsing after being sober for a year over a hypnotic instrumental while the song “Blinding Lights” talks about how he can’t see clearly without Bella over a synthpop instrumental.

The track “In Your Eyes” talks about how he sees something burning inside of this woman over a synthwave instrumental while the song “Save Your Tears” pretty much tells Bella to cry another day over an 80s throwback instrumental. The “Repeat After Me” interlude finds Abel telling her ex that he knows she really doesn’t love her new man over a euphoric instrumental from Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker alongside Oneohtrix Point Never while the title track is an open apology to all the women he’s hurt over an instrumental with some elements of future garage & progressive pop. The album then finishes off with “Until I Bleed Out”, which talks about not needing love or drugs anymore over an ambient pop instrumental.

When it comes to all 4 of The Weekend’s full-length albums, this is EASILY the best & I’d honestly put it on par with Trilogy. It’s dark, the production is ahead of the curve, the vocals are impassion & the personal songwriting is stellar. Welcome back, Abel!

Score: 4.5/5

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