The Hills is a song by Canadian recording artist The Weeknd. The track was released on May 27, 2015 as the lead single from his second studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness (2015).
The Hills received positive reviews for its return-to-form for the singer after his pop-oriented Earned It, and was a commercial success. In the singers native Canada, the song was a sleeper hit, peaking at number 9. In the United States, it reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, replacing his own Cant Feel My Face.
The Hills received critical acclaim, with most reviewers praising The Weeknds return to form after his pop-oriented direction with Earned It. James Shotwell of Under the Gun wrote that the single fit well within Abels prior output, but that Abels ability to create something altogether hypnotic regardless of production never ceases to amaze. Brian Mansfield of USA Today noted that when a song takes its hook from a horror film Wes Cravens 1977 cult classic The Hills Have Eyes you know theres bound to be trouble. In an analytical piece for Pitchfork Media, Hannah Giorgis called The Hills a dark, almost discordant meditation on lust, drugs, and fame while noting that to those familiar with his repertoire, the only twist in The Hills is how it ends: as the final chords fade, a womans voice, syrupy and sedate, closes with a lullaby of sortsnot in English, but in Amharic, the primary language of Ethiopia and the Weeknds own native tongue. She goes on to trace the songs melodic and lyrical origins to the Ethiopian diaspora. She continues, writing that the familiarity of Tesfayes strained vibrato makes him the inheritor of musical legacies that Abyssinia has birthed for generations... In a review for The New York Post, Hardeep Phull wrote that The Fifty Shades of Grey fans who were turned on to [The] Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) through his hit Earned It are in for a shock, because he is in brilliantly sinister form on his new track. Continuing, Phull goes on to say that When it comes to being a Don Juan with a dark side, this guy makes Christian Grey look like Ned Flanders.
In the United States, where it was a sleeper hit, The Hills entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 20 for the chart dated June 13, 2015; it was the weeks highest debut. Its debut was overwhelmingly powered by first-week digital download sales of 109,000 copies and 5.2 million domestic streams, aided by the simultaneous premiere of its music video on the singles release date. The following week, the single declined by one position but earned the largest gain in streams on the chart. It has since become The Weeknds second number-one single in the United States on the issue dated October 3, 2015, replacing the singers own Cant Feel My Face, becoming the first artist since Taylor Swift to replace themselves at the top spot. As of September 2015, The Hills has sold 1,269,000 copies in the country.
The video begins showing a wrecked car that has flipped over. Abel is seen crawling out of the car before helping two other women get out. As the song progresses, Abel is seen walking by himself down a dark street, and around the middle of the song, the wrecked car explodes behind him. He occasionally is pushed repeatedly by one of the women from the car. At the end of the song, he enters an abandoned mansion, and goes upstairs to a room illuminated with red light, symbolizing the fact that he went to Hell for how he treats women in his songs. A man holding an apple sits waiting for him, next to the two women from the car, and the video cuts to black.
The man from inside the mansion also appears in both the Cant Feel My Face and Tell Your Friends music videos.
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