after hours

Stars: 5/5

The Weeknd’s last album, “Starboy,” was released almost four years ago. I wasn’t a big fan at the time, but I still enjoyed his music. In 2020, I officially became a fan with The Weeknd’s “After Hours.”

“After Hours” made a big impression by breaking Spotify’s record for most streams in 24 hours. “Blinding Lights” also has over one billion streams on Spotify. The song became a trend on Tik Tok with a dance to accompany it, but The Weeknd’s new album is more than just streams and a 15-second video.

I did not know that synth-pop would work well in a Weeknd album, but it fits in perfectly. The Weeknd was able to make synth-pop both upbeat and somber. The album can be described as music to play for a late night drive. The album starts off dark, lightens up as it progresses and still ends on a dark note.

The heavy ‘80s influence is what brings this album to life. Each song has a different vibe, but they all mesh well. My favorite trio is “Faith,” “Blinding Lights” and “In Your Eyes,” but the latter has to be my favorite song from

the album.

His R&B roots shine with the synth-pop, dream pop and trip hop genres. However, the ‘80s influence is most dominant in this album with the other genres partnering with it. It creates a cinematic aesthetic where it felt like my surroundings were part of a movie, especially with earphones in.

The Weeknd also has the voice to blend with the songs. I can hear his emotions through his voice, and it perfectly completes the songs. It’s soulful and somber, but it also plays well with the other dance-like songs. It’s a dark world with wonderful tunes.

“After Hours” is one of my favorite albums from this year. The pandemic did not stop talented artists like The Weeknd from sharing their music, and this album was a good release from the chaos. The audience ends up being wrapped up in The Weeknd’s chaos instead, but it’s a chaos filled with melody. 

I am impressed with what The Weeknd put out in “After Hours,” and it truly shows how talented he is. The synth-pop suits him well, and it would be interesting to see if other artists will follow in those footsteps.

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