LISTEN: The Weeknd Releases New Album ‘After Hours’ To Positive Reviews
The Weeknd, whose full name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, dropped his new album, After Hours, on Thursday, just in time for the actual weekend.
This is the first album from the Canadian singer songwriter since 2016’s Starboy, and his fourth album in total.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) March 20, 2020
Fans had already been bopping some songs on the album, including “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” since December and January, respectively. Plus, he performed “Scared To Live” off the album on March 8 on Saturday Night Live.
Many of the songs have a melancholy vibe with some centered on heartbreak. Fans have speculated that “Heartless,” and “Escape From LA” include references to the singer’s exes Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez.
Abel got me missing Bella Hadid and I’ve never even met her
— Mateen (@Promethateen) March 20, 2020
The Weeknd denied that speculation in an interview with CR Men: “I try not to read too many reviews, especially if it’s negative, but I never made My Dear Melancholy with the intent on saying f-ck you to anybody. It was just how I felt at the time. The sonic environment felt fitting for how I wanted to tell that story. I feel like I have sonic ADD, and I can’t just stick to one sound, and I feel like it irritates a lot of listeners, but it’s just how my mind works.”
“As with his 2015 commercial breakthrough, Beauty Behind the Madness – home to the lithe disco funk of “Can’t Feel My Face,” which offered a PG edit of the Weeknd’s lyrical tropes of unfulfilling sex and drug use – and its bloated follow-up Starboy, the new album After Hours attempts to blend the drip-fed, drug-addled mopes of yore with luminescent, Max Martin-assisted bangers your mum can sing along to,” wrote Michael Cragg in his four-star album review for The Guardian.
“The Weeknd’s music has always been about contrasts, and here the beauty and the madness are more smoothly integrated than ever. After Hours is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade testing the balance between innovation and commerciality as much as anyone today,” wrote Jem Aswad for Variety.
“On After Hours, he still delves into a sadboy persona but there’s a tinge of remorse that runs through, in comparison to the cold and often cruel tone of earlier cuts,” wrote Roisin O’Connor in her four-star review of the album for The Independent.
Listen to the full album below: