Inspired by the movie of the same name, the Republic/Weeknd XO-released project is a culmination of everything the artist – born Abel Tesfaye – has, thus far, put forth. With topics that address love, drug use, loss, and self-growth (things that’ve been sung about in [his] prior compositions, the sets title track made direct references to lyrics the 30-year-old had previously sung about.
The so-far, unheard songs, however, add even more to the overall power of After Hours. On the opening track “Alone Again,” The Weeknd sings “Take off my disguise/ I’m living someone else’s life/ Suppressing who I was inside/ So I throw 2,000 ones in the sky” to drive home the point that he’s shedding his personality of the past and entering a new era. “Snowchild” also serves as a retrospective, dipping its toes in dreams of the past while juxtaposing them against his current life.
All in all, After Hours is an eclectic collection of songs that shows the growth and maturity of The Weeknd through his new retro aesthetic and overall vibe. Listen to the highly-anticipated album here.
Photo: Nicolas Padovan