The Knightly News https://tdhsknightlynews.com Telling the Thomas Dale Story Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:56:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 What’s Happening at Dale? Week of 10.26-10.30 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1597/news/happenings/whats-happening-at-dale-week-of-10-26-10-30/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1597/news/happenings/whats-happening-at-dale-week-of-10-26-10-30/#respond Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:56:22 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1597 Week of 10.26-10.30

     The end of the first marking period is this Friday, October 30. Deadlines for work may vary by class. 

     Early bird pricing for the Senior Ads in this year’s yearbook ends on November 1, 2020. Use the Yearbook Order Center to purchase an ad and this year’s yearbook. 

     There is no school this coming Monday and Tuesday, November 2 and 3rd. Monday is a teacher/parent conference day and Tuesday is Election Day. There will be no synchronous or asynchronous meetings on either day. 

     Seniors! More cap and gown order appointments have been added for November 4 and 5. The sign up information can be found at this link

     Payment for AP exams is due November 9th. Payments can be made on the school’s Online School Payments portal payments. Any payments made after November 9th will have an additional $40 late fee per exam.

     November 9th is the first day cohort 4 (high schools) will re enter the building physically. Plan accordingly and please be aware of the following: masks and social distancing will be required at all times on school property, including buses. 

     Teachers will instruct virtual and in person students through the Google Meet classroom, meaning in person students will log on to their Google Meet classroom to receive instruction. 

     The schedule is as follows (based on last names):

Monday/Tuesday = A-K in the building; L-Z virtual

Wednesday = everyone virtual w/ academic support from 100:am – 1:00pm and 12:00 pm – 

12:15 seminar

Thursday/Friday = L-Z (last names) in the building; A-K virtual

 

Helpful Links:

New School Website

Virtual Bell Schedule

Still having issues with your chromebook? Check out the Chromebook Basics

Are you confused about Chesterfield County’s COVID-19 Plan? Do you have questions? Visit the Coronavirus Information Resources webpage. 

Updated Positive Cases in CCPS

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How Covid Has Affected Teachers and Students Mental Health https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1604/features/knight-life/how-covid-has-affected-teachers-and-students-mental-health/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1604/features/knight-life/how-covid-has-affected-teachers-and-students-mental-health/#respond Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:55:35 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1604 There is no doubt that this pandemic has been an appalling and stressful time for some people. For students and teachers alike, there are both positives and negatives. 

“The virus has affected me in a way where I could connect with family and learn more about past pandemics,” says Deep Run High School student Aaron Jamaledine. 

Like other students, Aaron has faced some challenges during this pandemic.

“The challenges I had to face were to social distance myself from people, which is hard to do because I love talking to people around and getting to know more about their lives,” he said. 

However, Aaron has been able to adjust well enough to this pandemic.

“I’m getting used to wearing a mask every time I step foot outside like walking the dog, going to the grocery store, and at the end of my soccer practice,” he said.  

With local businesses and schools reopening, Aaron continues to wear a mask and take caution. Students are not the only ones experiencing ups and downs during these strange times.

Teachers have also been struggling with the pandemic, but are finding hope and goodness. Sheila Pope is a school social worker for Thomas Dale High School,  and has been coping well during the pandemic.

“I am very happy to be back working in the building. The biggest impact for me has been missing the students,” she said. “I have a private space to work and I am comfortable with wearing a mask and the janitorial staff have been doing an outstanding job, so I am not concerned at all about my safety.” 

A crucial part of Sheila Pope’s job is participating on the Child Safety Team.

Normally Sheila conducts meetings for the Child Safety Team in person, but has had to move these meetings to the virtual setting.

“Now I have to interview parents over the phone. It’s generally quicker that way, but more fun in person,” she said.

Sheila is helping by bringing together students and families with needed support from the community. 

The loss of income due to the pandemic has caused some families to “struggle to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, heat, water, and electricity.”

Sheila helps make the connection between churches and community organizations that want to provide support to those that need it.

“I make multiple calls a day to families because children need these basic necessities to be able to focus and learn.”

COVID-19 has caused many people like Pope to experience highs and lows. “In some ways I was grateful that the world slowed down so that we could catch our breath and focus on very important things, like being kind to one another and taking care of our health,”she said.  

Sheila was concerned about her college aged children and whether they would be able to go on campus.

“Life on campus is different, which is unfortunate,” she said.

Like all seniors that were part of  the Class of 2020, many students couldn’t celebrate their ceremonies or graduation due to the uprising virus. Sheila has a son, who was a senior last year. 

“For him, it was his senior lacrosse season, prom, and graduation, but it was great how the school did everything that could possibly be done to make it special, ” she said. 

     Sheila feels blessed however expressing, “I feel fortunate that no one I know has been seriously impacted by the disease and I feel fortunate that my job makes it possible for me to help others.”  

All teachers and students have been through some highs and lows throughout this pandemic. However, if we stay strong and help each other we can get through this pandemic and hopefully return to the normal world we used to know and love.

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Thomas Dale’s long distance education fiesta https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1599/news/thomas-dales-long-distance-education-fiesta/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1599/news/thomas-dales-long-distance-education-fiesta/#respond Wed, 28 Oct 2020 14:32:07 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1599 We’re living in an unprecedented time not only as Americans but as an entire race of humans across the planet. Coronavirus, otherwise formally known across the globe as COVID-19, has placed societies around the world into drastically incomparable lifestyles that most of us, if not all of us, have never seen before. 

Around the United States, everyday lives have been taken off course and shut down completely. Lockdowns and decrees of isolation have been put into place across the entire country for the last nine months as the cases have continually grown larger and larger as time goes by. 

Now, with the primary election for the next President of the United States coming rapidly, a new political concern within the coronavirus outbreak has been outlined with whoever will win the presidency. With whoever gets elected, what will they do in regards to schools around the country that are functioning virtually?

If we look specifically at our home state of Virginia, there are different situations in place for all of the separate counties. However, if we look at Chesterfield, they’ve opted to put into place a new plan that allows for the entrance of high school students to come back to school with a hybrid plan by early November.

The hybrid plan itself involves students physically coming back to their schools for two days out of the week, with Wednesdays being “clean-up days” and the other two days will be strictly for virtual learning. 

However, the focal point of this plan is that not all students will be coming physically at the same time. Instead, half of the student population will be coming in based on alphabetical order, while the other half stays home for virtual learning. 

With this plan, there was no doubt going to be mixed reviews and turned heads. Controversial to some and perfect for others. On the other hand, students will still have the choice to stay virtual or go through with the hybrid plan, and the student population certainly gave their opinions on virtual schooling.

“I was upset,” said Thomas Dale senior Yasmeen Ramadan when asked about her initial emotions about virtual schooling. 

“I worried about struggling and keeping my grades up. I had assumed that being at home would make me care less about school work, but the complete opposite happened. I prefer it and have caught a liking to it,” she said. 

Another senior, Gavin Carraway, simply put, “virtual learning has been nice, and I love being able to go downstairs to cook some eggs after my second period.” 

Many students at Thomas Dale shared the same mindset with Ramadan, finding that virtual schooling eventually became second nature, and they learned to adapt to their new environment. However, not everybody is feeling as optimistic. 

“I hate it because of my ADHD,” said sophomore Samantha Ramsey, who is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to online schooling. “I have too many distractions going on as opposed to just being in a classroom.” 

Even with a vast majority of students learning to function and coexist with their new routes of education, many are missing the everyday hospitalities of going to school in person.

“I just miss being with my friends and doing normal activities in high school,” said senior Shane Chaudle. “I’m not excited about how strict it’s going to be going back to school as well.” 

Junior Keymira Hendricks feels the same way, “You don’t have to deal with people on an everyday basis anymore, but it’s lonely because you looked forward to seeing those friends and having those social activities at school.”

For some students, a central focus point of virtual schooling has been the pace they have been able to complete their work, and nearly everybody works at a different speed in correlation to themselves and how they learn. 

“I like virtual learning not only because it’s safer, but I also get to get my work done by going at my own pace.” said sophomore Isaiah Childress. 

Yet, on the other hand, you have another sophomore, Christopher Skelton, that said, “I don’t like how unexplained the work is and how fast it is overall, and I feel like we’re getting more work just because we’re at home.” 

The thoughts and opinions of how students felt about physically going back to school so early in November were the most important of all. The hybrid format, how you would navigate the school itself, how you would get help from teachers, what the guidelines would be, and everything else.

“I do like that we’re going back to school, but they need to make sure we’re all going to be safe there,” said junior Edgar Greer. “Space us out and make sure the classrooms are clean.”

Sophomore Landon Connor added, “I don’t like the hybrid plan at all, partly because of the safety concerns, but also I won’t be able to see my friends because of the alphabetical order. So no, I won’t be going back to school.” 

Knowing how complicated and messy COVID-19 has been for the entire world, it was never a doubt how intricate and complex it would be to bottle down a plan moving forward for just one county. The mixed reviews, the conflicted emotions, and the handling of virtual schooling for students across Chester were going to be chaotic. 

However, moving forward to the due date of the incorporation of physical schooling back into our lives in a few weeks, all we can hope for as a county, as a student body and faculty, and as human beings, is that all goes well. We need it to go well. 

It has been exhausting and ruthless the past nine months for everybody affected by this pandemic. If we can come together and make things work for the betterment of society as a whole, even if that means just doing your part as a single body, then we need to make it happen. 

 

 

 

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¨I say leaving a legacy…¨ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1578/features/humanstd/%c2%a8i-say-leaving-a-legacy-%c2%a8/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1578/features/humanstd/%c2%a8i-say-leaving-a-legacy-%c2%a8/#respond Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:15:23 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1578 When asked, what drives you in life, Peyton Day  replied, ¨I say leaving a legacy…showing people who look like me and have been through the same struggles as me, [they] can do it as well.¨

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, and raised in Chester,  Peyton lives by the words ¨Be different and be yourself.¨

Peyton Day and Mom, Ronique Day (Photo by: Ronique Day)

¨I’m not a follower,” he said. “I want to stand up for what I believe in and not what anyone else tells me to.”

Peyton’s journey to open his eyes to the world wasn’t always milk and honey. Dealing with the struggle of depression, Peyton didn’t let it define him.

For those struggling with depression, he said¨It’s all temporary and, even though it seems like it’ll never get better, it’s a valley, and it has its peaks … don’t be scared to talk it out.¨

In five years Peyton wishes to see himself as a Biomedical Engineer or an Allergist Doctor.

¨I feel like that’s the best way to leave an impact on the world that’s positive,” he said. “And because there’s not a lot of African American doctors, and I feel if I can do it, anyone can.

Peyton would tell his past self, ¨stop looking backwards so much. The windshield mirror is larger than the rear view mirror for a reason.¨

Everyone has a story, but what sets Peyton apart from the rest is motivation.

“I’m motivated to set myself apart from the rest because that’s what makes the world great … a collection of different people striving to make the world a better place,” he said.

As inspiring as Peyton is, he also is inspired by someone.

¨My mother inspires me because I feel she beats all the odds and that inspires me to beat all the odds too,” Peyton  said.

¨Live by faith and not by sight,” he said. “You might not see it but if you believe in it you can achieve it.”

 

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What’s Happening At Thomas Dale This Week? (10.19-10.23) https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1556/news/whats-happening-at-thomas-dale-this-week-10-19-10-23/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1556/news/whats-happening-at-thomas-dale-this-week-10-19-10-23/#respond Thu, 22 Oct 2020 12:42:24 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1556      Payment for AP exams has opened (Oct 1) and is due November 9th. Payments can be made on the school’s Online School Payments portal payments. Any payments made after November 9th will have an additional $40 late fee per exam.

     Seniors! Herff-Jones Cap and Gown and Graduation announcements orders will take place November 4 and 5 from 3-7 pm at Thomas Dale main campus. Orders are made by appointment only. To select an appointment time visit this link.

     The due date for senior portraits to be submitted to the yearbook to be included is this Friday, October 23. 

     Those who took pictures with Candid Color and selected their preferred image do not need to do anything else. If you need to select your preferred image through Candid Color, visit the Candid Color portal

     However, if you took pictures with an outside photographer, you must submit your preferred photo to the yearbook staff. 

     Additionally, early bird pricing for the Senior Ads in this year’s yearbook ends on November 1, 2020. Use the Yearbook Order Center to purchase an ad and this year’s yearbook. 

     The return to school Hybrid Learning model has officially been announced. Monday, November 9th is the first day back in the building for those in the A-K group and Thursday, October 12 is the first day back in the building for the L-Z group. 

     Please note, Masks and Social Distancing are required on school property (buildings and buses). The schedule is as follows (based on last names):

 

Monday/Tuesday = A-K in the building; L-Z virtual

Wednesday = everyone virtual w/ academic support from 100:am – 1:00pm and 12:00 pm – 

12:15 seminar

Thursday/Friday = L-Z (last names) in the building; A-K virtual

 

     Class Officers have been announced: 

Seniors 

Sponsors: Ms. Kiku and Ms. Powell

President: Allison Miller

Vice President: Rhea Malla 

Treasurer: Madison Traylor

Secretary: Shawnay James

Historian: Lizzie Rusnak

Juniors

Sponsors: Open

President: Andrea Farag

Vice President: Isabella Wallen

Treasurer: Christina Zappa

Secretary: N/A

Historian: N/A

Sophomores

Sponsor: Ms. Comrie

President: Rowanna Salem

Vice President: Luren Vasquez

Treasurer: Emma Jennings Baker

Secretary: Alexander Trias

Historian: N/A

Freshman

Sponsor: Ms. Mirabiollio

President: Angie Castro

Vice President: Luren Vasquez

Treasurer: Beckett Rash

Secretary: KiAsia Pam

Historian: N/A

     SCA Officers have also been announced:

Sponsor: Mr. Thompson

President: Mia McGovern

Vice President: Brain Rogers

Secretary: Dustyn Shepard

 

Helpful Links:

New School Website

Virtual Bell Schedule

Still having issues with your chromebook? Check out the Chromebook Basics

Are you confused about Chesterfield County’s COVID-19 Plan? Do you have questions? Visit the Coronavirus Information Resources webpage. 

Updated Positive Cases in CCPS

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Movie Review : The Big Short https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1538/arts/movie-review-the-big-short/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1538/arts/movie-review-the-big-short/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 20:21:54 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1538 The Big Short (2015) follows the story of the unlikely few who recognized the real-estate bubble and predicted the impending stock market crash of 2008.

It follows the storyline of three financial teams: one led by Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale, another led by Mark Baum, played by Steve Carrel, and the duo team, Jamie Shipley and Charlie Geller, played by Finn Wittrock and John Magaro. These teams make a world-shaking discovery of the corrupt actions of the United States financial and real estate sectors. 

Their discovery leads them to bet against the monolith of the housing market, hence the name, the big short.  

This movie is based on the 2010 book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. The movie follows fairly closely with the book, however, some names are changed and characters are dramaticized. 

 However, many would argue that the book itself does not paint an entirely accurate picture of the housing bubble as a whole and the entirety of the stock market crash. 

A unique aspect of this movie is that it periodically steps outside of the storyline and into the third person, to explain some of the complex economic concepts discussed in the movie. They have celebrities and actors, like Margot Robbie, simplify the concept for the viewers.

The Big Short is a drama and its main themes include cynicism, distrust, egocentrism, corruption, urgency, and dumbfoundedness. 

Essentially, the R rating of this movie is for explicit language/adult themes; it definitely takes a mature viewer to enjoy the entirety and complexity of the movie and for the content to be appropriate. 

Christian Bale was 41 at the time of this movie. He is an English actor, known for his method acting and his roles in various Batman franchise movies, American Psycho, and The Machinist

Bale Portrays an eccentric financial investor, Michael Burry, with a glass eye and a habit of being barefoot. Aside from his awkwardness, he is an incredibly smart financial investor. Christian Bale encapsulates this awkward-intelligence perfectly; he is able to convey this personality with just the pondering looks on his face and his inability to maintain eye contact. 

This role is incredibly different from many of Bale’s previous works. Whereas many of his previous characters carry a sense of assured confidence, his portrayal of Burry requires him to step into the mind of a man with the intellect to know he’s right, but the lack of social skills to effectively convey this message. This failure to project his assuredness creates conflict with Burry’s bosses throughout the movie. 

Steve Carell was 53 at the time of this movie. He is an American actor, known most widely for his role as Michael Scott in The Office, and is also a writer and director. 

Carell portrays a stereotypical New York businessman, Mark Baum. Characterized by his cynical worldview, especially his view of the financial sector, Baum leads a team of four other younger, cynical businessmen; his proteges. Carrel perfectly encapsulates this hardcore, yet sensitive, leader through the thick New York accent, the heavy use of expletives, yet also his hopeful and vulnerable demeanor. 

This movie varies from many of Steve Carrel’s previous works, as he tends to act and direct in the comedy realm. This shows off Carrel’s multifaceted abilities as a performer, embodying such a different style of character. 

Ryan Gosling was 35 at the time of the movie. He is a Canadian actor who first rose to stardom on The Mickey Mouse Club, but is also known for his roles in The Notebook, La La Land, and Drive

Gosling portrays one of the secondary characters in this story, Jared Vennett. Vennett is the character who originally approaches Mark Baum about the real estate bubble. His more important role in the story is the narrator; he also participates in the third person explanation scenes. 

This movie is a must see for anyone who enjoys memoirs and “based on a true story” style movies, or anyone who’s fascinated by the stock market exchange and the financial world. Even those who are not interested in economics will enjoy the cast’s fantastic telling of a story that seems too corrupt, illegal, and evil to be true . 

A a viewer with limited knowledge of the financial sector, my  favorite part of this movie is it helps the audience truly understand the housing bubble and the stock market crash. This is a complex issue, that many still do not understand today or are simply misinformed. While this movie is great entertainment, it is also incredibly helpful as a guide to understand some very complex economic ideas. 

The Big Short receives a 4 out of 5 in my book. Seeing the build up to one of the most life-shattering events of America’s history unfold before your eyes keeps you captivated and interested, while the cast flexing of their acting abilities and skills gives you an appreciation for the quality of the movie overall.

 My apprehensions about this movie recieving a 5 out of 5 are purely based on my distaste of extremely foul language and the fact that the story doesn’t have a happy ending. While the use of expletives does create an accurate representation of what life in the New York financial sector looks like, it is not pleasing to listen to.  Additionally, this is not a feel good movie in any form or fashion; it is an accurate and heartbreaking account of the failure of the economic system in America and the devastating impacts that it has on virtually every person in the country.

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Bad Bunny drops unique yet cohesive new album, YHLQMDLG https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1531/arts/bad-bunny-drops-unique-yet-cohesive-new-album-yhlqmdlg/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1531/arts/bad-bunny-drops-unique-yet-cohesive-new-album-yhlqmdlg/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 19:58:33 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1531     Reggaeton superstar Benito Martinez, widely known as “Bad Bunny”, recently dropped his long-awaited album titled YHLQMDLG, following his Grammy winning debut album X100PRE

    YHLQMDLG is an acronym for “yo hago lo que me da la gana” which in English means, “I do whatever I want.” This is also evident with the cover art being a kid riding his bike with a flying car and other scenes of randomness in the backdrop. Bad Bunny truly follows through with his album being a mix of reggaeton, trap, and Puerto Rican perreo. Each song has its own feeling and vibe, but still blends perfectly into a cohesive album. This album is mostly meant for younger people to dance or vibe to and it does that perfectly. 

    Production for the album is incredible. It has songs produced by Diplo and veteran reggaeton producer Tainy. It also has plenty of features ranging from reggaeton icon Daddy Yankee and Myke Towers to more underground artists like Yahviah and Duki. 

    My personal favorites are “Si veo a tu mama,” “Hablamos Mañana,” and “Safaera.” The first of these, “Si veo a tu mama” is the first song on the album and the perfect intro as well. It has a nice and happy beat produced by Elikai and Subelo NEO. The song itself is about getting over a girl even though you still love her. Secondly, “Hablamos Mañana” captures the phrase YHLQMDLG perfectly. It was produced by Tainy and Albert Hype who produced a rather impressive beat that mixes in a blend of flutes, kicks, and guitar into a rock inspired beat. The lyrics themselves are about doing whatever you want and generally having fun. Lastly, “Safaera, Safaera” is the most perreo-heavy song with features from veterans Nengo Flow and Jowell y Randy. The beat was once again produced by Tainy, and co-produced by DJ Orma. It’s the type of song you would expect to be playing at a nightclub somewhere in Puerto Rico. The title describes the song perfectly; Safaera is slang for zafadera which is an expression describing letting loose or going wild.

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Covid-19 Shuts Down Country & Schools https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1535/news/covid-19-shuts-down-country-schools/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1535/news/covid-19-shuts-down-country-schools/#respond Mon, 27 Apr 2020 19:48:15 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1535  The last couple of months have brought much uncertainty across the globe and especially in the United States. With much of the country shutting down due to the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, the American people have been put into disarray. 

 COVID-19 has taken hold of over 2,800,000 people across the world and has taken the lives of over 200,000, approximately 7% of all cases. With respiratory symptoms that can lead to the onset of pneumonia, the coronavirus is not something to be toyed with.

 Coming with the rapid spread of the coronavirus is the forced shutdown of countries across the globe, including airports, borders, businesses, and other workplaces.

 The fallout of shutdowns includes nearly every school system around the country has been shut down for the rest of their academic years, and students are now forced to learn new information through online courses.

 However, with the onset of online classes and the removal of physical appearance in school, this raised massive concerns for those who were set to take an Advanced Placement exam or SAT in the Spring. 

 With those students who must take online versions of those tests, many parents and faculty have raised concerns about the validity of having students be able to essentially cheat from home. 

 In the first link, students can find their online AP exam date, which is being distributed by the original manufacturer, the College Board. The second link contains details and the date to the makeup SAT, which will be held in the Fall. 

  1. https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators/taking-the-exams/ap-exam-schedule
  2. https://pages.collegeboard.org/sat-covid-19-updates

  The AP Exams and SATs / ACTs are important, but the thing every person should worry about the most in this time of ambivalence and unease is the wellbeing of yourself and those around you. Take all of the necessary precautions that are being placed and jarred into your mind over and over, because they matter.

 At the end of the day, almost all of us just want this epidemic to be over with. The only way to reach that goal is if we all practice good health and good faith. 

 

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The Weeknd’s newest album, Afterhours, introduces a new era https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1525/arts/the-weeknds-newest-album-afterhours-introduces-a-new-era/ https://tdhsknightlynews.com/1525/arts/the-weeknds-newest-album-afterhours-introduces-a-new-era/#respond Tue, 14 Apr 2020 15:20:10 +0000 https://tdhsknightlynews.com/?p=1525     Since moving out of his childhood home at the age of seventeen, Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as The Weeknd, has continued to reinvent himself and shake up the modern music world through alternative R&B.

    Abel uploaded his fourth studio album, After Hours, on March 20th of this year. Two years after he last released music in 2018, EP “My Dear Melancholy”, and four years after the release of his 2016 studio album, Starboy

    The album’s era, however, began weeks before the project’s initial rollout. The Weeknd released three singles as well as two music videos and a short film leading up to the album’s midnight release.

    These three singles and videos not only gave viewers a glimpse into the album’s themes and production, but also the story and phase that Abel has created surrounding the album.

    The first two singles, “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” introduced us to a new character with an iconic red suit and battered face which has not only been seen in music videos, but also in live television performances. 

    In the first music video for “Heartless,” the character first lives up their time in Las Vegas partying, drinking, and abusing drugs. Then for the second music video for “Blinding Lights” the character escapes Vegas on a major high and is exposed to the potential horrors that also come along with nightlife.

    The first two tracks also revealed the 80s pop inspired production with heavy synths that play a major role in the project. Appropriately, the light, pop, production represents the lyrics and is indicative of the influence that the use of drugs and their high had on this album. 

    The third single, (title track) “After Hours,” however, depicts a different side of the album. Instead of a high with bright, fun production, this single represents loneliness,depression, and the other side of nightlife.

    The production of this single differs from the first two tracks. Though, there is still a heavy 80s influence, this track’s production is much darker to better convey the emotions that are represented in the lyrics.

    The short film, also titled “After Hours,” differs entirely from the first two music videos. The short film follows the character alone walking through New York City, after a performance, in the middle of the night. 

    In his walk throughout the city, The Weeknd is overtaken with emotions that we have yet to see from the character before. Pain is expressed throughout the video which eventually will lead the character to brink of insanity. 

    After experiencing the high of nighttime from the first two videos, the short film and title track completes the dark and painful otherside of the overall theme of the album.

    This theme can be depicted from the first three tracks, videos, as well as the album’s name itself. It is evident that the project “After Hours” is an ode to the nighttime and all of the emotions and potential that comes along with it. 

    As described by Abel himself, “You can find love, fear, friends, enemies, violence, dancing, sex, demons, angels, loneliness, and togetherness all in the After Hours of the night.”

    When listening to this project, there were a few tracks that stood out to me as a listener. The first being “Scared To Live.” This song was performed on Saturday Night Live prior to the album’s initial release. When first hearing it I was captivated with the slow synth production and amazing vocal performance. 

    In this track there are elements of love and care in the darkness of the night. “Scared To Live” represents the virtue side of the night which makes up the light side of the album’s theme.

    Another song that stood out to me while listening is “Faith.” The track’s dark and distorted production, lyricism involving overdosing and loneliness, and psychedelic outro creates the perfect song to represent the twisted nighttime and dark side of the album’s theme. 

    After listening to the project, from the midnight release until now, I have drawn similarities from this project to his former projects. The light production with dark themes and lyricism reminded me of his 2013 album, Kissland

    Also, After Hours shined light on his past relationships on the song “Save Your Tears.” This reminded me of his 2018 EP, “My Dear Melancholy,” where his love interests were the overall theme.

     The release of this project will define The Weeknd’s place in the modern music world and will likely dominate the music charts. In my opinion it is the album of the year so far and Abel’s second best piece of work behind his mixtape, House of Balloons.

    From a one to ten scale I would rate this project an eight of ten. Though it was consistent and also possessed amazing tracks, I believe that the album had the potential to be structured in a way that would have better depicted the story. 

    Nonetheless, I was delighted to experience this beautiful project and I recommend that high school students like myself and young adults especially make time to listen through this album. 

Xo

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