The Weeknd bares his soul
The Canadian Starboy delivers “After Hours”, a hit fourth album that blends 80s new wave, soul, R&B and synthwave.
Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd is back with his anticipated fourth album After Hours, an intoxicating R&B record that feels like a natural progression from its predecessors. After 2016’s Starboy and the EP My Dear Melancholy 2 years later, the chart-topping singer made his acting debut in the Netflix thriller Uncut Gems alongside Adam Sandler.
This may have helped the inspiration for this new character the singer portrays with a broken nose, leather gloves and deep red tux in the album cover and the music video for lead single Blinding Lights, reminiscent of A-Ha’s Take On Me, the new wave from the 1980s and its synthwave revival.
“I don’t like to leave my house too much. It’s a gift and a curse but it helps me give undivided attention to my work… It distracts from the loneliness, I guess”, confesses the Canadian.
Unlike Starboy, there are no features on this album, The Weeknd choosing instead to invite a range of top tier producers to refine the music: Metro Boomin on the epilogue Until I Bleed Out, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker on Repeat After Me (Interlude), the loyal Illangelo, vaporwave pioneer Oneohtrix Point Never for Scared to Live and even hitmaker Max Martin (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Britney Spears) for the pop-sounding Save Your Tears, resulting in 14 tracks that blend soul, R&B and new wave nuances.