Review of “After Hours” – The Weeknd

Review+of+%22After+Hours%22+-+The+Weeknd

Josh Carmichael, Staff Writer

While you are cooped up in quarantine within the same four walls as yesterday, you may want to listen to the new record, “After Hours” by The Weeknd. Listening in might ease the stir-craziness and cut you a break from your Netflix binge as we progress through the weeks of staying at home.

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, A.K.A as ¨The Weeknd¨ had been on a long hiatus upon dropping his new record which many fans have 

 

been awaiting. To put this into perspective, it has been over 4 years since his last official album, “Starboy” was released, and 2 years since his last EP, “My Dear Melancholy,”. So, this was a pretty big release in music, considering it has been more than 1,000 days since his last album. 

“After Hours” starts with the introduction track, “Alone Again” which is arguably the best song on the album. This was a heart-clutching song about his past experiences with love, and really sets the whole tone for the rest of the album with wavy synths and sudden drums in the second half of the song truly made my 12 A.M. self jaw-drop in pure awe at how amazing this song off this record was. The amazing confliction between the 80’s era synthesizers with modern day rap backbeat really come together to make something amazing.  The producers of this record, Illangelo, DaHeala, and Mario Winans truly made this album amazing.

With all having mainly hip-hop backgrounds, especially Mario Winans who topped the billboard charts with his 2004 single “I Don’t Wanna Know”, it is incredible how they all made amazing 80’s inspired instrumentals. That was really the main drive of this album, was the 80’s influence all throughout, which is drastically different than all of his previous records.

We go into the next song titled “Too Late” which is very different instrumentally, but having a very similar message, telling a girl that it is “Too late” to save their relationship, hence the name of the song. The instrumental has a Latin American feel to it which works into the song beautifully. This song was also a win, but it does not hold a candle to the songs surrounding it.

“Hardest To Love” by far is one of the more heart wrenching tracks of this record. With an incredible vocal performance from Tesfaye, combined with an amazing, nostalgic, but also melancholic instrumental, added also with his amazing, relatable lyrics all adds up into something amazing. Lyrics on this record are also very personal to his life, but also relatable at the same time. An example being, “Don’t regret the day we met, Don’t forget the time we spent, Forget that we’re in different beds.” That really just hits hard even though I can not properly relate to it.

A personal favorites on this record, this song leads into what I consider its 2nd part, “Scared To Live”, a slow, lovey-dovey type song. This is the kind of song that will hit you in your deepest, most secretive of feelings that you try so hard to bottle up. I do have to admit over this record there were multiple times where I shed a few tears as I, with no shame, admit that I do to music.

From the next track on, I feel bad to admit that I spaced out so many times while listening to it. The next few tracks were lacking substance in my eyes, they were not boring, but in those songs I just spaced out a lot. I did this all the way to the 11th track, “Save Your Tears” which was an incredible, powerful, romance filled song that really hit hard. With an incredibly catchy chorus, an instrumental it was impossible to resist. One more thing I have to say before I give a final closing statement, and an overall rating, is that this record was mixed horribly.

The ending, however, did not live up to the standard set by the rest of the track. A three minute and ten second drawn out song with heavy bass that did not match the instrumentals at all? No thank you. In my opinion if you are going to end an overall pretty amazing album, the ending had to be a showstopper. I am a sucker for nostalgia inducing albums like this, when I envisioned a little movie that always plays in my mind while listening to music, I saw me and my girlfriend out in the middle of New York City having the greatest time ever, with all of the lights shining  on our faces while running all around the city, discovering our surroundings. Although this album was incredible audibly, and one of the greatest albums I have heard in so long, I just couldn’t get over how I spaced out and really was bored throughout many songs of the album. I give it a very light 9/10.  Now, you can be the judge of this album and listen in.