If an album could take our breath away, After Hours would be the one. We love everything about this album, from the sound to the lyrics, but most importantly, the moments that The Weeknd creates within this phenomenal album! It’s a true masterpiece! Here are the top moments we loved in After Hours!
The Trance of ‘Hardest To Love‘
Coming off the dark turn, ‘Too Late‘ sonically takes in the closing instrumentals; it particularly gives ‘Hardest To Love’ a dreamlike quality to it. Although the entire After Hours mimics the sound straight out of the 80s revival vault, this nostalgic vibe is the strongest in this track. It’s as if it puts us in a trance and takes us to another place entirely while listening to it, where we can feel his pain. The Weeknd pours out his heart, singing the lyrics to us, “’Cause I’ve been the hardest to love/ You’re tryna let me go (tryna let me go), yeah/ And I can see it, I can see it (I can see it),” and our trance breaks as the closes.
The Big Sound of the Instrumentation and His Voice in ‘Scared To Live’
Rightly so, as the pop ballad track of the album, ‘Scared To Live’ instrumentation is glorious with its high soaring melody heard in the synthesizer and that drumbeat! We’re already dancing within minutes of the opening while imagining a grand-scale production on stage in our heads! Though The Weeknd has evident talent in his vocals heard throughout After Hours and in other songs among his body of work, ‘Scared To Live’ shows off his vocal range the best with the sweeping lines he executes flawlessly! This track can’t get more perfect! We love also love the snippet of Elton John’s ‘Your Song,’ appreciating that The Weeknd knows his classics, though we’re not surprised at all!
The Transition from ‘Faith’ to ‘Blinding Lights‘
As favorite moments go, this one is it! When we first heard ‘Blinding Lights‘ when it first came out, we were immediately hooked. We loved the 80s reminiscent synthesizers pulsing in a hypnotic melody, and the chilling imagery of the lyrics as The Weeknd sings as he is completely alone in the desolate streets, blinded by an unexplained light and only to be revived by only one person’s touch. Up until ‘Faith,’ the track before ‘Blinding Lights,’ The Weeknd explores various struggles throughout the lyrics in After Hours from inner turmoil caused by a failed relationship, drug abuse, self-acceptance, and among many other melancholy themes. Seemingly from all the mania built upon these prior tracks, ‘Faith’ discusses the idea of overdosing as it hauntingly fades out. Leaving us with the unworldly instrumentation, the ambiances of sirens, and the tone production of his voice, he sings, “I ended up in the back of a flashing car/ With the city shining on my face/ The lights are blinding me again.” Literal chills.
We can’t help but believe these two tracks are skillfully connected, as After Hours reaches such a climatic point! They seamlessly interweave with the idea of the “blinding lights,” The Weeknd mentions it in both tracks, especially the cliffhanger in the sound he leaves us in ‘Faith’ and picks right back up again with the heartbeat-like bass in ‘Blinding Lights.’ We can visualize the scene of the empty city lights he sees in a blur as he is being rushed off in an ambulance after succumbing to his drug addiction and the heightened despair. Though catchy, we listen in horror yet captivated by that melody we love so much in ‘Blinding Lights,’ hoping he’ll survive in the end before the song reaches its close. Thankfully, he makes it, and he has much more to tell in the album about his discovery of self-acceptance!
The Full Circle of ‘Until I Bleed Out’
Knowing he can’t go on with the pain, he felt the absence of his significant other and the damage it caused to his heart; he finally realizes for himself he needs to move on. Although After Hours ends abruptly with ‘Until I Bleed Out’ (even in the last note), it is satisfying, regardless. He metaphorically rids himself of all associations of this person and cuts them out of his life so he can start fresh and fully accept himself. It’s a lesson to all that doing what’s best for ourselves gives us the strength we need to persevere. ‘Until I Bleed Out’ is also a perfect book-ending with ‘Alone Again,’ understanding that he’s capable of conquering his fear of being alone, closing the album full circle!
just wanted to thank the fans for committing to this journey with me. i love you guys so much, none of this is possible without ya’ll seriously. XO— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 23, 2020
What was your favorite moment from After Hours? What is your favorite track? Let’s keep the conversation going by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP or commenting below! Want the inside buzz? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the sweetest pop culture news!
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Featured Image Source: The Weeknd via Instagram