A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol
“I can’t feel my face when I’m with you, but I love it.”- The Weeknd, “I Can’t Feel My Face”
It’s a Monday, but I’ve been listening to The Weeknd all day, and based on radio play and iTunes sales, so have you. You already know the legends, so I don’t need to spare time to reiterate them to you, but you know as well as I do that large portions of the good music we hear today exists because of Motown. The era of such greats as Al Green, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye are bygone. Or maybe they are coming back born anew. Enter one Abel Tesfaye, known by his stage name “The Weeknd”, one of the prides of Toronto, Canada, along with Drake. During these summer months, The Weeknd has exploded into your road trips, company picnics, and gluten-free barbeques. What I hope to do is give you some reasons as to why he deserves to be there.
With each passing summer, a proper anthem is required to capture the spirit of the moment and act as our soundtrack for each triumph, celebration, stolen kiss, and cornhole victory that comes our way. No one artist is having better luck with this than our new best friend The Weeknd. He exhibits MJ-like tendencies with his vocal range with can be observed on his other two hits of the Summer, “Earned It”, off of the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, and “The Hills” off of his album “Beauty Behind the Madness”. Take a look at the videos beneath this paragraph to get a better sense of what I’m talking about. Since 2013’s Get Lucky” by the robot duo Daft Punk, I’ve not played a song on repeat more times, or referenced in every day conversation, more than “I Can’t Feel My Face”.
Now that you’ve listened to the song again, lets dissect a little. It’s got everything: the driving beat and production on the song has this post-apocalyptic, “End Of the World” party quality that makes it an intriguing listen, with the lyrics gushing from his mouth like the Canadian side of Niagra Fall (because he’s from Canada). Not only that, the song is ridiculously accessible, because it’s both upbeat and has partially SFW lyrics that should not force you to lose favor with your superiors because odds are the song came up on their shuffle as their Tesla was parked at a stop light. TGI it’s The Weeknd, which, if you’re wondering, “The Weekend” was already taken when Mr. Tesfaye threw his proverbial hat into the proverbial ring. Just a little fun fact for you to sink your teeth into.
Good music isn’t just about what makes people happy, it’s about what doesn’t make people happy, and has the power to stir up some “no such thinig as bad publicity” controversy that takes up air time on Fox News. Consider the sultry “Earned It”, a song penned to coincide with the equally sultry and arguably tawdry erotic film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey.
In retrospect, his song was unquestionably the best part of the film, which was universally panned by any critic not on the payroll for the film. It’s an awesome “mood” song for when you have your special person over for marinated pork shoulder, or you need a little musical pep talk before asking out the individual whom you would like to be your special person. Either way, you’re gonna like it. Now I usually don’t do this, but since I like you and the cut of your jib, I’ve decided to authorize a viewing of the video for the song being discussed. This video is NSFW so with that in mind, I’m also posting just the audio so you can listen to the song on your lunch break.
Okay, we’re back, so wipe the sweat from your brow and let’s bring this puppy home. No one else in music is doing what The Weeknd is doing this year. With an eclectic style and a refusal to get muffled amidst a mess of rehashes bass drops. At 25 years of age, The Weeknd is just getting started, and will be featured alongside other big names of right now including the sophomore album of rapper Meek Mill. Whether you hate him or love him, or even if it’s a Tuesday, you will have to get used to The Weeknd.