I just listened to The Weeknd’s latest drop After Hours and I am just going to jump right in. The 80’s synthwave aesthetic in the production wasn’t enough to save what turned out to be a nondescript album at best. I couldn’t decipher where the first 2 or 3 tracks ended and began. If I didn’t see what I was clicking on, many of these songs could’ve passed as tracks from any of his past albums. He’s constantly singing about the same thing, in the same way over production that sounds the same.
⚠️ Scroll to the end for the full Album Score.
The Silver Lining
The overall aesthetic of this “era” is dope. Namely, the effort put into the music videos. They don’t particularly make me enjoy the songs, but I can appreciate the dark cinematics and overall creative effort.
I can respect the narrative The Weeknd crafts in his music, battling his demons of old, trying to escape his past and be a better person etc. I would think after 8 years of major releases, there’d be a turning point in terms of content matter, sound or even vocal cadence, but I guess not. If you’re easily satisfied by a fusion of new wave, dream pop and a dash of R&B, this may be the thing for you.
Album ScoreAlbum Score
- Cinematic narrative
- Synthwave aesthetic
- Boring album
- Songs sounds the same
- Same topics for years