By Ruth Kehinde – Digital Editor
Singer, songwriter and producer Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, released his sixth album, ‘After Hours,’ on Monday, March 20 and the deluxe version on April 3. This is a new LP that Tesfaye shared with his fans first-hand on Instagram Lives and is also available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Music.
With a total of 14 tracks, The Weeknd’s top five popular songs from the album in descending order are “Blinding Lights,” “In Your Eyes,” “After Hours,” “Heartless,” and “Save Your Tears,” according to Spotify.
With this being one of his hit-or-miss studio albums, ‘After Hours’ would have to be in the middle. The Weeknd’s past albums going from ‘Trilogy’ to ‘My Dear Melancholy,’ had some significant pop and R&B hits from front to back; however it seems as if The Weeknd doesn’t want to go down that path any longer.
‘After Hours’ is totally a reinvention, having his persona change as well. This is portrayed in the tracks “Snowchild” and “Escape from LA.” “Snowchild” highlights how he has changed over the years, having it be a lot for him to reflect on. This track emphasizes on the aspect of consistently moving forward to achieve desired goals regardless of what life may bring.
“Escape from LA” goes into his love life. Los Angeles is where many desire to go for what the media portrays it as but The Weeknd’s only desire is to leave it. He moreover explains how he feels the women there are the same and it seems as if the only thing that’s changing is him. “Escaping from LA” is a note to himself if he ever wants to get out of the interchangeable.
Although ‘After Hours’ may be different, it portrays a sound of maturity. When first listening to the album, it’s a new vibe than what’s used to, yet it’s then understood to have a lot of depth. When listening to it again, it has the distinction of the past and how things are going now for the artist. After giving ‘After Hours’ another listen, I proceeded to pick apart all the lyrics and understand the moods that go along with each one of them.
With The Weeknd being a phenomenon, many can relate to this album. ‘After Hours’ is an album of sorrow, heartbreak and regret. It has lived up to its hype but not in the way many expected. Within this pandemic that the world is going through, The Weeknd was still able to drop his album for all to hear, having known that life doesn’t stop even when it seems like it has. Although the tone of ‘After Hours’ seemed to be surrounded by lachrymose, releasing it not only provides structure and solidification, but mostly some positivity.