By Thérèse Bo-Wenge
Abel Tesfaye also known as The Weeknd, released his fourth studio album, After Hours with 14 tracks featuring his hit single; Blinding Lights. The song has over 627 million streams on Spotify and he reigns as the second most streamed artist on the app.
He wrote his songs alongside fellow producers & songwriters: Illangelo, DaHeala and Metro Boomin. Shortly after the initial album release, he released three additional singles: Nothing Compares, Missed You and Final Lullaby in his deluxe edition of the album.
The Weeknd, well known for his mainstream electro-pop music (Starboy), the mood of his previous tunes, well embodied in his previous Discography Trilogy, tends to be a mix of sadistic, solipsistic, passive-aggressive lyrics and dark in nature. In After Hours, we find his old signature style many fans adored, with a perfect balance of electro-house, pop, R&B and 80’s retro music.
When observing the album cover, we see the lower half of his face covered in blood. The artwork is described as psychedelic and was inspired by numerous films such as: Joker and Uncut Gems. The album as a whole communicates that he is the same anti-hero from Trilogy. It’s a self-reflection of his dark past and a depiction of the man he longs to be. He sings about his past relationships and comes to the realisation of his own faults in his song After Hours. In Snowchild, he tells the story of his life before and after fame, while in his single Faith, he sings about being stuck in his old ways and not willing to change.
© Music Drenalin | YouTube
The Independent, a music critic, stated: “After Hours abandons the danceability of its predecessor in favour of moody introspection. This is the music you listen to when the party is over”. NME, states: “It’s a record free of features and full probing self-reflection.” Many recognise his album as a masterpiece as “it is one of his most consistent work with a strong sense of narrative cohesion with a gloomyaesthetic”. After Hours is one to listen to as The Weeknd presents a unique way of conveying emotions in his music one can relate.