By Lyah Fitzpatrick,
Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, dropped his fourth album on Friday, March 20. Titled “After Hours,” the album was released at 9 p.m.
The late night debut matched the mood of the record. Lamenting over exes and brooding in shame, the lyrics of his fourteen tracks mingle to inspire a depressing feeling.
On many occasions, Tesfaye remarks on his internal turmoil. Talk of substance abuse and old addictive tendencies frequent the lyrics, as do his inability to love. He begs for forgiveness from those whose hearts he broke, yearning for another chance.
However, he is alone in the end and has to push his heartbreaks into the past. His cold heart and loneliness pull him back to drugs and cluelessness.
To produce a dreary tone to accompany his lyrics, Tesfaye utilizes droning electronic instruments and a slow rhythm. His vocals are high pitched and drawn out, in starking contrast with the hip hop genre that dominates most of the modern day music industry.
The music can be turned up to keep you going through a hard workout, or maybe inspire you when you’re in your feels, but it can also run in the background while reading or doing homework. Rather than being distracting or obnoxious, the melody is mellow and heartfelt.
Just beware– the lyrics are neither cheerful nor happy. “After Hours” is for anyone in the mood for sadder, more negative music. If you’re trying to find a way to smile, Tesfaye’s playlist is not meant for you.
Ultimately, the album is geared for listeners with a specific taste, a taste for a feeling of melancholy. Otherwise, one may find the music drab and dispirited, possibly even boring. It is likely that Tesfaye intentionally created songs to cast a dreary spell, so that his own feelings could be matched.
In the last song of the album, “Until I Bleed Out,” Tesfaye shares his yearning to be free of his pain and wrongdoings. Through music, he shares his burden with the world.