Song of The Year- Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd
I am very excited to sit back and watch all the critics who buried The Weeknd two years ago do a pirouette into Abel Tesfaye appreciation. Compare him to Michael Jackson or Prince if you want. You should never have given up on him so easily. We all rocked House of Balloons in 2011. It was a mixtape moon landing that changed the game…where did you think that genius went?
Anyway, the task that Beauty Behind The Madness tackles is going pop respectfully. Translating the deep hurt and jarring imagery into something that can play on everyone’s radio. Instead of rap features we get Lana Del Ray and Ed Sheeran (the only guests). I don’t think Can’t Feel My Face is my favorite song on the album but it’s a smash. I think Shameless is a more beautiful and intelligently written song but Can’t Feel My Face achieves a forward momentum that we didn’t know was in Abel’s arsenal. The reason people jumped off the bandwagon originally was that listening to The Weeknd felt like something you only did at your lowest point on a rainy day, otherwise you get lost in depression town with a long work day ahead. Can’t Feel My Face is the best example of polishing scary content until it’s too fun to worry about. Even more than Future’s DS2 and that’s saying something.
It’s exciting that he’s taken back this maudlin drugged up party kid character and updated him…because this is his character. I always felt weird hearing other people borrow from the persona while we acted like that’s ok. Now that he’s back dropping gems again, it’s like he says on Tell Your Friends (my favorite song) “Last year I did all the politicking, this year I’mma focus on the vision.” When The Weeknd is all vision the outcome is always something to behold.