I’m running on (basically) ZERO hours of sleep right now lol. I woke up in a slight panic, after remembering stuff I needed to do, including canceling an upcoming dentist appointment (LOL). That, mixed with the level of HEAT in my room kept me up from 1am to 4am, scrolling through Tumblr, Reddit, and ultimately watching 4 episodes of Cooked with Cannabis on Netflix (to see Miss Kelis Rogers primarily) before I fell asleep at the beginning of the fifth episode. [edit: I finished the last two episodes, once I woke up…I don’t hate it! Part of me feels weird seeing white folks enjoy eating/cooking cutesy, weed-infused foods, while hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown folks sit in jail for years because they had a small bag of weed on them, though. But I tried to pull myself out of the sociological wormhole as much as possible, and seeing Miss Kelis and her FIRE outfits and beauty helped me feel a little better lol]. I didn’t even have my cat to keep me company while I was awake – she kept hopping off my bed every time I tried to cuddle with her – so there I was alone and awake in the wee hours of the morning. But some delicious pizza courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen’s frozen pizza line and half a kombucha later, I’m here to talk about my friend (in my daydreams) Abel Tesfaye.
Also, excuse the quality of the pictures this week, there’s a hurricane a couple states away, so it’s VERY cloudy (and I forgot to take pictures yesterday, even though I knew this was gonna happen). Plus, some of the pictures are from a couple weeks ago, when it was brighter. So there’s a weird mix happening rn lol.
This week we have The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ (2020)
so i have two copies of after hours (because i’m out of control lol). the record in this picture is LP 1 from one of the collector’s editions (variant 001). i also have a copy of the signed deluxe edition (that i finally got a few weeks ago, after waiting since march!) with the holographic cover, and that edition comes with 2 standard black LPs.
I’ve already done a First Listen on After Hours, so I’ll allow me to copy and paste myself lol: “I [hadn’t] felt completely solid [with] a project from Abel since Trilogy (2012); I’ve loved them all…but it’s always felt like something was missing. And listening to this album for the first time gave me those same feelings. But listening to it again for the second time while writing this really brought everything together for me. It really is solid. The production is great, Abel’s vocals are heavenly as always. On the songs that I don’t like as much (but I do like them all [edit: I now love EVERY song from this project lol]), the hooks and choruses really hold it down. I remember Abel talking about how he struggled with writing hooks around the time Kiss Land (2013) came out (which was clear, but I also didn’t mind lol), but he has grown more and more into being a solid hook/chorus guy, and I love that for him. I’ll have to find that interview because it really is great to hear that growth in him.
While the concepts of heartbreak, love, and both existing at the same time aren’t new for Abel’s music, I feel like After Hours is a more grown up version of those feelings. They feel more intense; they feel like the stakes are a little bit higher on this project than they were before. Love no longer feels like something he can slip on and slip off; it’s grown into being something that he wants – and wants to be real. It’s an album that necessitates no features; there’s a vulnerability that comes with that solitude. And that’s what makes it such a winner.
I’ve actually fallen in love with this project even more, since March. It’s just such a SOLID project. While I have been slightly annoyed by how many times I’ve seen him in that red suit jacket in the past 6 months, I’ve loved how Abel has leaned so heavily into the world of After Hours. And honestly, the quality of the project is so good that I actually don’t blame him for being so hype about it and getting as much out of it as he can.
I’ve debated back and forth a couple of times with myself on whether or not I was comfortable with calling After Hours my favorite Weeknd project, and I think I’m now ok with admitting that openly. I’ve loved everything he’s done in the almost 10 years I’ve been listening to him, but the level of artistry, creativity, and cohesion that this project has cannot be overstated. I wouldn’t have two of these if I didn’t think it was absolutely amazing.
(based on the signed version)
Officially became a part of the collection on September 10, 2020
Year of Album Release: 2020
Runtime: 56 minutes
Jacket Style: Gatefold
Lowest Price on Discogs (as of 10/9/20): $145.00
Highest Price on Discogs (as of 10/9/20): $470.59
Record Player Set Up Specs:
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