Album Breakdown: The Weeknd Reveals his Remorse in Album “After Hours”

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The Dude

The Weeknd. PHOTO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Canadian-native Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, released his album “After Hours” on Mar. 20. Selling 272,000 copies in just one week and debuting at #1 on Billboard, The Weeknd explores his journey through a relationship that was evidently broken before it ended. 

The Weeknd never fails to impress his listeners, and these fourteen songs are a blend of various rhythms. From the mellow tones of “Too Late” to the upbeat 80s vibe of “In Your Eyes,” this album presents a melancholic yet lively approach to his journey. All the while, his heartfelt voice takes center stage in many minutes of this hour-long collection.

Beginning the album with “Alone Again,” The Weeknd introduces his complications with the life he is living. He says, “Take off my disguise/I’m living someone else’s life.” Throughout the whole album, The Weeknd seems to struggle between resorting to his old ways — drugs and sex — and becoming a new man. In “After Hours” he says “I turned into the man I used to be,” yet in “Scared To Live” he sings, “I am not the man I used to be.”

After already expressing his unwillingness to be lonely, The Weeknd opens up in “Hardest To Love” and “Scared To Live Again.” He admits that he is the reason for the relationship turning bad. Expressing his regret, he hopes his lover will move on from their relationship and not be scared to live again.

It seems that The Weeknd’s fast-paced lifestyle in LA hinders his control over his actions in the relationships he builds. In “Escape from LA” he recognizes how he has everything he has ever wanted — ”got the money, got the cars, got the ceiling with the stars.” Yet, he knows that this lavish lifestyle is what kept a roadblock between himself and his love. “I’d be nothing without you,” he admits, disregarding the material goods he has.

Going through a whirlwind of emotions between love and drugs, The Weeknd uses 80s-infused instruments, dream pop, R&B and of course his vivacious vocals to express his loneliness in a big world. The transitions between each song are beautifully melded to create a story of regret and heartache. 

Yet, ending the album with “Until I Bleed Out,” this outro seems sudden compared to the rest. His voice abruptly ends the song discussing how he feels paralyzed and overcome by the difficulties in his life. It seems to be a moment he has let his emotions take control of his life, leaving him powerless and vulnerable.

Many fans believe another album will follow “After Hours.” The Weeknd has been teasing new music — with tones much like those of this album — on his Instagram Live all week.

Perhaps “After Hours” is just one half of the story on The Weeknd’s revelation of hopeless love, bad habits and the impacts of living a lavish lifestyle.