Sad Boy Season is officially here. For The Weeknd’s fourth album After Hours, the Canadian singer scrubs away his glitzy pop sensibilities from his Starboy era to bring back his smoky, gut-wrenching sound dating back to the early 2010s.
For 14 tracks, he brazenly jots down lines that are strong enough to sever any relationship, while taking ownership of his missteps. Anchored by the muddy topics of drugs, sex, and regrets, After Hours has a goldmine of lyrics built for shrugging off the lovebug.
Take a look as we decode some of Abel’s most emotional lyrics from After Hours below.
Take off my disguise I’m living someone else’s life
Suppressing who I was inside
– “Alone Again”
Just seconds into After Hours, The Weeknd reminds us why he’s one of our problematic favorites. Abel is poised to free his true self, no matter how ugly or poisonous he comes off to anyone, including his lover. Fire up the waterworks, it’s time for some turbulence.
I let you down, I led you on
I never thought I’d be here without you
Don’t let me drown inside your arms
Bad thoughts inside my mind
– “Too Late”
Accountability is critical and serves as an escape route for Abel on the chillingly honest “Too Late.” Known for letting his mind run rampant, the XO singer grabs onto ownership of his faults in hopes of righting his wrongs.
Sources say that we’re done how would they know? We’re in Hell, it’s disguised as a paradise with flashing lights
– “Too Late”
The Weeknd has his passport inked up, with Hell serving as his prime-time destination. It’s safe to say he’s galaxies away from his glossy Starboy days, and is tired of playing dress-up in front of the cameras. As for those pesky sources? The Weeknd knows a thing or two about being in highly-publicized relationships and how to skate past the tabloids.
I don’t feel it anymore. The house I bought is not a home.
Together we are so alone
– “Hardest to Love”
Mangled by heartbreak, The Weeknd believes it’s time to bid adieu to his counterpart on the gripping “Hardest to Love.” Instead of prolonging the inevitable, he’s eager to pull the plug after realizing that he’s better off alone.
You always miss the chance to fall for someone else ’cause your heart only knows me
They try to win your love, but there was nothing left
They just made you feel lonely
– “Scared to Live”
The Weeknd’s toxic behavior is the culprit in ruining his partner’s second chance at love. Tangled in his web, she can’t get past him. He looks to push her in the right direction, aiding her on her path to redemption, but, unfortunately, her heart only beats for him.
I used to pray when I was sixteen, if I didn’t make it then I’d probably make my wrist bleed
Success was on The Weeknd’s mind very early on in life. His make-or-break mentality fortifies him as one music’s premier acts, and is the reason why he continues to strive for more.
If you see what I seen, you wouldn’t sleep I can’t sleep
‘Cause I got everything I wanted
Got the money, got the cars, got the ceiling with the stars
Got everything I wanted
But I’d be nothing without you
– “Escape From LA”
As we previously mentioned on “Snowchild,” The Weeknd is one of the biggest stars in music. Still, despite his lofty achievements and prized possessions, he lets it be known that his past continues to haunt him on “Escape From LA.” He also sings about how lost he would be without the love of his life.
I’ve been sober for a year, now it’s time for me to go back to my old ways, don’t you cry for me
Thought I’d be a better man, but I lied to me and to you
The sobering “Faith” is a tough pill to swallow if you’re Abel — no pun intended. He spills about relapsing and doesn’t want an ounce of sympathy for it. Though he tried to lead a better lifestyle, his old ways keep calling, leaving him and his lover out for the count.
I saw you dancing in a crowded room. You look so happy when I’m not with you
But then you saw me, caught you by surprise
A single teardrop falling from your eye
– “Save Your Tears”
Upon the release of After Hours, fans speculated that The Weeknd was referring to his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez with this “Save Your Tears” verse. Gomez released her Rare project earlier this year and his a song on the project featuring 6LACK titled “Crowded Room.”