• Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Mar 20, 2020
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Mar 20, 2020
    96
    The Weeknd’s music has always been about contrasts, and here the beauty and the madness are more smoothly integrated than ever. “After Hours” is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade testing the balance between innovation and commerciality as much as anyone today.
  2. 91
    As he evolves, he continues to reinvent himself, and he knows exactly how to leave fans hooked on havoc. And After Hours is proof that he’s not done with us yet; in fact, he’s just getting started.
  3. 90
    “After Hours,” his rousing fourth studio album, is laden with sparkled trauma, kaleidoscopic emotional confusion, urgent and panting physical release paired with failed-state romantic dyspepsia.
  4. Mar 30, 2020
    82
    After Hours is the most satisfying blend of “old” and “new” Weeknd that he’s ever put forth on a single project.
  5. Mar 26, 2020
    80
    Production-wise especially, this is The Weeknd’s strongest project yet, and deserves all the recognition.
  6. Mar 26, 2020
    80
    After Hours is not exactly a new iteration but a cinematic retrospective of the entirety of the Weeknd. Its vignettes offer the purest amalgams of the earliest, bleakest alternative R&B mixtapes, like 2011's House of Balloons, to the more recent run of massive pop projects, like 2016's Starboy. Hopefully, such a retrospective lens may also cue a coming balance of his conflicting set of feelings and how he frames them.
  7. Mar 26, 2020
    80
    Tesfaye fills much of this neatly sequenced, ballad-heavy set with penitence and longing. He sets the tone with an escapist fantasy that turns into a nightmarish relapse, and is tormented for much of the duration by seeking and receiving salvation and ruination from the same relationship. Some of Tesfaye's most vivid and piercing lines are herein.
  8. Mar 23, 2020
    80
    The hour-long LP often plays out like an experimental 80s fever dream, but it’s still anchored by The Weeknd’s broody sonic DNA.
  9. Mar 23, 2020
    80
    Even though the subjects may not be sung about with as much grit as they once were, they are certainly darker than the pop genre that's entrapped the artist in recent years.
  10. 80
    ‘After Hours’ stands as The Weeknd’s strongest record in some time.
  11. Mar 20, 2020
    80
    Here songs bleed into each other, with sonic references dotted throughout to neaten up threads that previously he would have left to unravel. By balancing the two sides of his musical personality – not to mention add some levity to that boring, bad-taste id – After Hours feels like the first Weeknd album in a while to offer up a clear, singular vision rather than something frustratingly abstract.
  12. 80
    Like Starboy, there’s a hefty Eighties influence here, although for the most part, After Hours abandons the danceability of its predecessor in favour of moody introspection. This is the music you listen to when the party’s over.
  13. Mar 24, 2020
    79
    It’s hard to tell where the universe of listeners fixated on filling spiritual voids through sex, drugs, and romance ends and the universe of the Weeknd’s tortured, empty melancholy and drunken, devastating love begins. That’s the beautiful blur of After Hours.
  14. Mar 25, 2020
    75
    Truly great pop is escapist, a chance to transform the otherwise mundane into something divine for a three-minute time span. Tesfaye doesn’t always get it right, but on After Hours, he offers up at least a few moments of communion during a time of isolation.
  15. 75
    Perhaps his biggest sonic leap yet as well as his strongest and most consistent work to date. There's a cohesion to these 14 tracks that was absent from Tesfaye's last several releases, a real sense that he's closer than ever to striking the perfect balance between the darkly shaded aesthetic he broke out with and the naked pop ambitions of his more recent material.
  16. Mar 23, 2020
    70
    After Hours certainly has its share of pity-partying. But there’s also a vulnerability that goes beyond the usual too-beautiful-for-the-world sulking. ... After Hours is one of the smoothest cocoons he’s spun.
  17. Mar 27, 2020
    60
    "After Hours" and "Until I Bleed Out" recapture some of that old fear, but any heft these moments might have had flounder without the proper buildup. The listener's just meant to be satisfied that yes, that is the Weeknd singing, so this must be another Weeknd album. But the problem with After Hours is that: its Weeknd-ness is still the centerpiece, the thesis, what the Weeknd wants us to see the most. It's been a decade, and the story still hasn't changed.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 664 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 664
  1. Mar 22, 2020
    10
    I first thought this album was about to be Kiss Land 2.0 when I first heard After hours (the track) a month ago, and ended up believing thisI first thought this album was about to be Kiss Land 2.0 when I first heard After hours (the track) a month ago, and ended up believing this delivery is a dark version of Norman F***ing Rockwell!

    P.S "Faith" is my personal fav.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2020
    10
    After hours being the fourth studio album for The Weeknd sees him go back to his dark, atmospheric R&B sound reminiscent to the trilogy,After hours being the fourth studio album for The Weeknd sees him go back to his dark, atmospheric R&B sound reminiscent to the trilogy, featuring very tight production and textured beats with occasional repetitive themes lyrics. The variety and the stories each song carry are heartfelt and it’s evident in the energy each song packs whether gloomy or not. Surely one of his best albums yet and a treat for fans whom fell in love with the dark R&B sound of the initial mixtapes. XOTWOD Full Review »
  3. Mar 20, 2020
    10
    Just a perfect album from the greatest artist in the music industry. "Faith" is one of the best songs in this century. Multiple orgasms to myJust a perfect album from the greatest artist in the music industry. "Faith" is one of the best songs in this century. Multiple orgasms to my ears, thanks Abel. Full Review »