When you're The Weeknd, there isn't much left in the dark. After Hours recounts his experiences of loss, emptiness and the pitfalls of an excessive lifestyle, mixing both the past and present and pointing bleakly to the future. With stylistic inspiration from Starboy, he creates a lost nostalgia, his trademark high tone now heavily processed like a moody line which drifts melodically with the spacey synths reminiscent of a forgotten near past. The album allows for his artistic licence moving between the rhythmic variations, from the fast paced dance tracks of Hardest to Love and Blinding Lights to the crooning of Scared to Live and Escape from L.A.
He reflects on his journey in Snowchild, romanticising the past, lost flames and touching on his RnB roots.
Faith acts as a timely interlude, giving the listener a warning sign of the weighty traps which come with his experiences and the inner demons that he continues to battle with.
A heavy synthwave influence fills the latter half of the album with weighty strings, upswinging plucks and bells which provide an ethereal backing for his solemn themes
Save Your Tears is a personal favourite, a unique take on the sounds of the past to create a dark pop track, very representative of the current state of things.
The beats really carry the listener into a new dimension in his discography, almost forgetting his heavy lyrics and the broken take on life which now seems to haunt his artistry. He ends with Until I Bleed Out which really speaks of his own battles, and underlines the deep melancholy which he fights against throughout the album. A man lost in his own lifestyle and choices.