Review by Aaron
The Weeknd signaled that his upcoming album would be different with his music videos showing an amalgamation of Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Brian De Palma, and Terry Gilliam tendecies. That new album is After Hours which takes the best parts of Kissland, Beauty Behind the Madness, and Starboy, and shows the growth that The Weeknd has had since his Trilogy Mixtapes starting back in 2011. We will never get The Weeknd from those Trilogy Mixtapes once The Weeknd said that, “Cali is the mission,” with money and stardom being the motive for his future. Some nine years later he responds to this track with the song, “Snowchild,” where he now says that, “Cali was the mission, but now a nigga leaving.” Gone are the Michael Jackson florishes and now the character of The Weeknd is the Hyde to Abel Tesfaye’s Dr Jekyll. A shadow following him that ruins his celebrity, love, and life. One could say that his failed relationships with Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez are the basis of this self reflection. This dualism is throughout the album and also shown in standout tracks, “Hardest to Love,” “Escape From LA,” “Heartless,” “Faith,” and “When I’m Bleeding Out.” Will The Weeknd survive past this album or will Abel Tesfaye take the reins and continue his growth?