Album review: After Hours from The Weeknd
Written by Sir Helmet on April 15, 2020
The full carnal, sensual, groovying pleasure of “After Hours” comes in fully experiencing its chart-breaking singles. “Alone again”, the song opening the set list, captures the listeners attention with its droning synthesizer lines, following the one-liner expressed by The Weeknd. It also injects us into this world of 80’s-90’s sounds brought to today’s bouncy tracks to keep its audience on its groove. The album reaches full potential once “Heartless” hits the rotation. The track is a start song to bring the audience to the dance-floor. From there, “Blinding Lights” comes in and turns the floor into a full rave. The catchy beat and on-point lyrical rhythms justify the reason it is a staple song of radio right now. For those experience the album in front of a screen, the dancing pleasure arrives in absorbing the music video. Such as in “In Your Eyes”, the video enhances the smooth pleasure of the song by providing a narrative to cheer for along with the groove.
The tracks in between the singles provide a crooning waiting room but not a synchronization for the whole album. These tracks display the vanguard frontier of the album. They showcase the limits of The Weeknd’s musical journey, both outward in its rhythms and instruments and inward of his psyche in his lyrics.
The art of this album is an evolution in The Weeknd’s previous artistic output. There are resonating elements from previous songs. Some continuing elements clearly present are the self-destructive but full-of-life themes, the subtle voice of showcasing Black art through his art and full dedication of the tracks to enjoyment, dancing and love. Furthermore, the themes have not remained stagnant. The artist has grown up with them, accepts them as his own and takes them into the world of today.