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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • The Weeknd’s cover of his newest album “After Hours”

Song Review: Blinding Lights

Craigin Maloney '21, Arts Editor
You may be surprised to learn that The Weeknd isn’t a band, but rather the stage name of Canadian singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye.
On March 20, Tesfaye released his fourth album, After Hours, which had three singles: “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” and “In Your Eyes.” After being released as a single on November 27, “Heartless” climbed to the top of the US Billboard Hot100. Two days later, Tesfaye released his second single from the album, “Blinding Lights.” “Heartless” did well; “Blinding Lights” shattered all expectations. It hit number one on the charts in thirty-two different countries and became The Weeknd’s most successful single to date.

Though After Hours was inspired by classic 90’s films like Casino (1995) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless” take different positions on Tesfaye’s past and current relationships. In “Heartless,” Tesfaye sings, “Never need a b**ch, I’m what a b**ch needs / Trying to find the one that can fix me.” Amanda Mitchell of The Oprah Magazine theorizes that Tesfaye is referring to his relationship with Selena Gomez that ended in October 2017 after nine months of dating. 

In “Blinding Lights,” Tesfaye uses a different tone. He seems to imply he’s metaphorically lost without his current girlfriend, Bella Hadid, with the lyrics "I look around and / Sin City's cold and empty (Oh) / No one's around to judge me (Oh) / I can't see clearly when you're gone."

Historically, when the United States hits a period of economic downturn, people turn towards upbeat dance music with lyrics that address the hard times. When the oil crisis hit in 1979 and inflation was at an all-time high, Chic’s legendary dance hit “Good Times,” which was an upbeat song with lyrics about the plight of living in modern day America, skyrocketed to the top of the charts. Today, in this time of isolation and financial uncertainty, it’s no surprise that the nation has turned towards a song with a good beat but lyrics about being alone. “Blinding Lights” leads off with “I’ve been on my own for long enough,” a sentiment that many Americans share.
Editor in Chief 
Julia Kosinski

Managing Editor 
Teddy Glover 

Anushree Vashist
Anjali Subramanian
Aanya Panyadahundi
Melody Cui
Sophie Sonnenfeld
Emmett Dowd
Vivian Wang
Evangeline Doolittle
Zach Williamson
Craigin Maloney
Anand Choudhary

Abby Regan
Riley Foushee
Sophia Neilson

Maeve Stauff
Kallie Schmeisser
Tanner Lee
Sophia Zhao
Juan Lopez

Emmett Dowd
Jon Schoelkopf

Nick Hughes

Business Manager
Sophia Cerroni
Luca Vujovic

Faculty Advisers
Jenny Nicolelli
Elizabeth Gleason
Rebecca Marcus
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
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