The Weeknd digs back into his mixtape era for his newest album After Hours.
The Weeknd emerges from the shadows and drops his fourth studio album After Hours. The release is his newest full-length to arrive since Starboy in 2016.
Two singles “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” which are found on the album were unveiled ahead of the drop. They were both well received and earned Platinum RIAA status. In fact, “Heartless” was The Weeknd’s fourth No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
The Weeknd digs back into the dark R&B sound that he became known for years ago with the release of his series of mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence. Each of these tapes surfaced in 2011 and catapulted him into stardom amongst millennials. After Hours carries heavy influences from this early era of his artistry such as heavy drums and dragged out vocals.
His unconventional approach that he became lauded for nine years ago is apparent on the following tracks “Hardest To Love,” “Snowchild” and “Escape From LA,” these are the best cuts on the album. Honestly “Hardest To Love” should have been a single, it’s a bit slow but it’s a love-ridden song all about literally being difficult to love. Overall it’s a relatable listen.
“Snowchild” is a laid back track following the story of his life over the past few years living under a microscope. In this song, he comes across as if he’s bragging about what he faces, but we end up feeling a little bad for him. Over on “Escape From LA” The Weeknd divulges his innermost thoughts on pillow talking, dealing with a kind lover and dwelling in a space where women are throwing themselves at him. This is our favorite song on the album without a question also due to him depicting LA as a place that’s a bit of a fairytale.
If you grew tired of The Weeknd’s pop music he embraced to cross over into the mainstream years ago After Hours is for you. This release isn’t pop-centric, instead, the majority of it delves into the beauty that’s only found within R&B. Don’t get us wrong, there are some tracks (the second half of the album) that will definitely resonate in the hearts of those who have an affinity for upbeat music and vocals that will dominate the radio. Despite this, as a whole, After Hours is a reset for The Weeknd, a glorious reset.
Stream After Hours below.