Album Review: “After Hours” by The Weeknd

The Weeknd, the stage name of Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, has taken the music industry by storm with his unique blend of R&B, pop, and alternative sounds. Since his debut in 2011, The Weeknd has released four studio albums, with his latest offering “After Hours” being highly anticipated by fans and critics alike. With hits like “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless” already topping the charts, the hype for this album could not be higher. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of The Weeknd and take a closer look at his latest album “After Hours”.

Background of The Weeknd

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born on February 16th, 1990 in Toronto, Canada. He grew up in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, and was raised by his mother and grandmother. From a young age, Tesfaye had a passion for music and would spend hours listening to various artists, including Michael Jackson, Prince, and R. Kelly. He taught himself to play the piano, drums, and guitar, and started writing songs at the age of 17.

In 2010, Tesfaye anonymously uploaded three songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd.” The songs gained traction online, and eventually, fellow Canadian artist Drake reached out to collaborate with him. This led to The Weeknd’s first mixtape, “House of Balloons,” which was released in March 2011. The mixtape received critical acclaim and established The Weeknd as an exciting new artist to watch.

Since then, The Weeknd has released three more successful albums, collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and performed at major festivals and award shows. His unique sound, mysterious persona, and captivating live performances have earned him a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim.

Overview of the album “After Hours”


“After Hours” is The Weeknd’s fourth studio album, released on March 20th, 2020. It consists of 14 tracks and has a runtime of just over an hour. The album was highly anticipated, with lead singles “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” both topping the charts upon their release. The album cover, featuring a bloody and bruised version of The Weeknd, sparked curiosity and speculation among fans about the meaning behind it.

The album explores themes of love, heartbreak, and self-reflection, with a darker and more introspective tone compared to The Weeknd’s previous work. The title “After Hours” alludes to the late-night party scene, but the album also reflects on the aftermath of the party and the emotions that come with it. The Weeknd himself described the album as “a brain melting psychotic chapter of my life.”

Track-by-track review

  1. “Alone Again” – The album opens with a haunting intro track that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The production is minimal, with distorted vocals and eerie synths. The lyrics touch on feelings of isolation and loneliness, setting the stage for the themes explored in the rest of the album.
  2. “Too Late” – This track picks up the pace with a catchy beat and layered vocals. The lyrics portray a toxic relationship where The Weeknd feels trapped and unable to escape. The chorus is infectious, and the outro features a guitar solo, adding a rock element to the song.
  3. “Hardest To Love” – With its dreamy production and falsetto vocals, this track showcases The Weeknd’s signature sound. The lyrics delve into the difficulties of love and commitment, with The Weeknd admitting that he is “the hardest to love.”
  4. “Scared To Live” – A standout track on the album, “Scared to Live” samples Elton John’s iconic song “Your Song.” The production is stripped back, allowing The Weeknd’s powerful vocals to shine. The lyrics explore the fear of opening up and being vulnerable in a relationship.
  5. “Snowchild” – This track takes a nostalgic look at The Weeknd’s rise to fame and the struggles he faced along the way. The production has a dreamy, nostalgic feel, with references to his previous tracks and mixtapes.
  6. “Escape from LA” – With its dark and moody production, this track delves into the aftermath of a breakup. The Weeknd reflects on his past mistakes and regrets while trying to move on.
  7. “Heartless” – The lead single off the album, “Heartless” showcases The Weeknd’s ability to blend catchy beats with introspective lyrics. The song portrays a hedonistic lifestyle, with The Weeknd declaring that he has become “heartless” as a result.
  8. “Faith” – This track explores themes of faith and religion, with The Weeknd questioning his beliefs and purpose in life. The production is minimal, with haunting synths and layered vocals.
  9. “Blinding Lights” – Another hit single, “Blinding Lights” is an upbeat and catchy track that captures the essence of 80s pop music. The lyrics tell the story of a reckless romance, with The Weeknd proclaiming that his lover’s love is “blinding” to him.
  10. “In Your Eyes” – This track has a funky and disco-inspired production, with The Weeknd’s falsetto vocals taking center stage. The lyrics describe a toxic relationship where he knows he should leave, but can’t resist the temptation.
  11. “Save Your Tears” – With its 80s synth-pop production, this track stands out on the album. The lyrics address a failed relationship and the regret that comes with it.
  12. “Repeat After Me (Interlude)” – This short interlude adds a break to the album, with distorted vocals and a dreamy production.
  13. “After Hours” – The title track of the album, this song has a slow and haunting production, with The Weeknd reflecting on his past mistakes and trying to move on.
  14. “Until I Bleed Out” – The final track on the album, “Until I Bleed Out” is a somber and introspective outro. The production is minimal, with The Weeknd’s raw vocals taking center stage. The lyrics touch on themes of addiction and self-destruction.

Overall impression and recommendation

“After Hours” is a cohesive and well-crafted album that showcases The Weeknd’s growth as an artist. The production is impressive and blends various genres seamlessly, creating a unique sound that is signature to The Weeknd. Lyrically, the album delves into themes of love, heartbreak, and self-reflection, with The Weeknd baring his soul in a way that feels both personal and relatable.

The standout tracks on the album include “Blinding Lights,” “Save Your Tears,” and “Scared to Live.” However, every song on the album has its own charm and contributes to the overall storyline and theme. The only criticism could be that some songs may sound similar to each other, but this does not take away from the overall quality of the album.

I would highly recommend “After Hours” to fans of The Weeknd, as well as anyone looking for an album that explores different emotions and genres. It is a perfect blend of dark and moody tracks with catchy and upbeat ones, making it suitable for any mood or situation.


Overall, “After Hours” is a stellar addition to The Weeknd’s discography. It showcases his growth as an artist while staying true to his unique sound and style. The album is a rollercoaster of emotions, taking listeners on a journey through love, heartbreak, and self-reflection. I would highly recommend giving it a listen and deciding for yourself. As The Weeknd himself says, “Welcome to the After Hours.”

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