The Dark Prince of Pop
“The Weeknd’s After Hours is a dark-twisted-fantasy concept album of the depictions and struggles in Abel Tesfaye’s (The Weeknd) love-hate relationships …
… and is trailblazing the return of 80s pop-synth to popular music all at the same time.
After The Weeknd was snubbed from the Grammys, I just had to invest my time into seeing what the fuss was all about.
I originally thought this was just a collective of good songs fit for radio – boy, how wrong was I. I may be a few months late but … as soon as I realised it was actually a concept album, I was instantly drawn in.
“I’m losing my religion every day,
Time hasn’t been kind to me, I pray,
When I look inside the mirror and see someone I love … “
Faith, The Weeknd
“Said I’m heartless
Tryna be a better man, but I’m heartless.”
Heartless, The Weeknd
With popular singles such as ‘Your Eyes”, “Save Your Tears” and of course, “Blinding Lights” present within the album, After Hours paints a beautiful picture of regret, sorrow and shows the true dichotomy of love in all the twist and turns it tries to pull. This has been present through all of his work, and After Hours is the latest showing of that.
Painting tales in red and black, the full song run-through is the telling of a story – or rather, Abel’s version of a story – depicted from being Alone (yet) Again to contempt in Heartless until regret in Save Your Tears.
The Weeknd’s other music catalogues, Starboy and Beauty Behind The Madness show this push and pull story of emotion and the breaking of face but rather, in the more usual contemporary pop attempt. It certainly does not delve into the deep dark depths of what Abel goes through in After Hours.
Abel reflects an instant disdain for love and is aware of the repercussions when it goes wrong – and yet, constantly craves it. It is this state of disharmony and the back-and-forth taunting between himself that poses such a dark image on After Hours.
I would recommend playing it all the way through to get the full picture, of course. I mean, only if you want to. I understand the toll that takes on people’s attention spans nowadays.
Despite the design of the album seemingly taken straight from the mood-board of Stranger Things, the music itself is far more original and conceptual and slaps. (sorry)
Obviously I am not the only one who feels that this is Abel’s strongest piece of work to date, and his army of fans have come out to support it just so. This has become so adored by all, it has managed to rack up over 2 billion streams on Spotify.
I’d recommend watching Middle 8’s breakdown of the album in full-length, as it picks apart every song off of it in tremendous fashion.
G’won, don’t be shy to share your thoughts of the album in the comments!