Sex, drugs, and R&B? Kinda.
The Weeknd is back!
“After Hours” is The Weeknd’s first full-length album in four years. He did release a six-track EP, “My Dear Melancholy” in 2018 but since then, nothing. Three singles were released for this project, ‘Heartless’, ‘Blinding Lights’, and ‘After Hours’.
“After Hours” is the same old Abel with sex and drugs, but his heart has been broken and you can feel it through his music. Bella Hadid has done some damage.
Here is a track by track review with one of my favorite lines from each song.
The Weeknd always brings it on his opening track. Songs such as ‘High for This’, ‘Real Life’, ‘Starboy’, ‘Professional’, and ‘Call Out My Name’. Alone Again is no different. The Weeknd’s friend and longtime producer Illangelo kills this track. The production is fantastic. The chorus is very catchy, and it is a hypnotic mood.
“I don’t know if I can be alone again (Alone again)
“I don’t know if I can sleep alone again (Alone again)
It is going to be said a lot throughout these reviews, but the production is excellent once again. The beat is fun and the song is fast-paced. The Weeknd is asking for forgiveness and taking part of the blame for his actions. Two songs in and this project is shaping up to be a classic Weeknd album.
“We’re in Hell, it’s disguised as a paradise with flashing lights”
Hardest To Love
This song just sounds like it deserves to be on the radio, it’s very catchy. The hook is great and gets stuck in your head. Writer, producer, Max Martin makes his first appearance on the album on Hardest to Love. Martin and The Weeknd make great music together. The drums are a good touch on this song.
“I’ve been the hardest to love.
It’s hard to let me go, yeah.
And I can feel it, I can feel it.”
Scared to Live
First performed on Saturday Night Live, this is a power love ballad about a breakup and the first song where he is talking about his ex Bella Hadid directly. Max Martin is back with the production and kills it. This is just an outstanding song.
“Should have made you my only. When it’s said and done.”
Illangelo is back on production and makes a beat perfectly for The Weeknd. The Weeknd raps on this track and murders it. This first drug heavy song, and he even named the song after coke. Snowchild is also the first of a few songs that The Weeknd mentions Los Angeles and how the city has broken him. There is a call back to the song ‘The Morning’ when he sang ‘Order plane tickets, Cali is the mission’, well now he is leaving.
“Only thing I’m phobic of is failing
I was never blessed with any patience”
Escape from LA
This is the first of three back to back to back tracks by acclaimed producer Metro Boomin. The Weeknd sings and raps on this track. It is slow and one of the darkest songs so far. The bridge of this song hits you hard.
“LA girls all look the same
I can’t recognize
The same work done on they face
I don’t criticize
She a cold-hearted bitch with no shame
But her throat too fire”
The first single finally arrives and I personally think this when the album truly shines. The second half really takes off. Heartless is a great single and has been all over the radio. Metro Boomin is all over this track. This is one of the only songs that The Weeknd is braggadocious.
“All this money and this pain got me heartless
Low life for life ’cause I’m heartless”
My favorite song of the album. Metro Boomin and Illangelo collab on this track and it bangs. The Weeknd talks about his drug addiction and this feels like it could have come right off of his mixtapes. There is a 32-second break before the beautiful outro. This song bangs and I can’t wait to see it live.
“But if I OD, I want you to OD right beside me”
The second single and one of the catchiest songs on the album. The Weeknd was inspired on the last album and bought a punk song and now he uses synthpop. This is my favorite single. Max Martin returns and kills it. The keyboard is wonderful.
“I’m running out of time
‘Cause I can see the sun light up the sky
So I hit the road in overdrive, baby, oh”
In Your Eyes
Another 80’s inspired song with more synthpop. The song has some jazz in it as well. One of the best aspects of the song is the saxophone, it is so good. This has radio all over it.
“You always try to hide the pain (Oh, oh)
You always know just what to say (Oh, dear)
I always look the other way
I’m blind, I’m blind”
Save Your Tears
The last of the 80’s inspired songs but it might be the best one. It also sounds like it is ripped from a rom-com indie. This song also about Bella Hadid and their break up.
“So, I made you think that I would always stay
I said some things that I should never say
Yeah, I broke your heart like someone did to mine
And now you won’t love me for a second time”
Repeat After Me (Interlude)
Strange having an interlude with only two songs left. It Is very psychedelic and somber.
“It’s natural to find someone to treat you right
But it ain’t right if you fuck him out of spite”
The title track was the third single released and is really good. This song feels like it was ripped from Kiss Land or House of Balloons. One of the most epic sounding songs and one of the most vulnerable songs.
“Never comin’ down, uh
I was running away from facin’ reality, uh
Wastin’ all of my time out living my fantasies
Spendin’ money to compensate, compensate”
Until I Bleed Out
What a way to end his fourth studio album. A very deep, harrowing song. You can feel his heartbreak and he finally runs out of “blood” meaning he’s done. Whew. While it’s not my favorite ending song compared to ‘I Feel It Coming’ or Tears In The Rain, it is still great.
“Well, I don’t wanna touch the sky no more
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”
It is hard after three days to say if this is his best album or not, but I must say it is going to be in the discussion. “After Hours” is a fantastic Weeknd album with great bangers. There isn’t one bad or skippable song which is hard to say nowadays.