The Weeknd Can't Feel My Face Video Square
The Weeknd Can't Feel My Face Video Square

The Weeknd Is Set Ablaze In His New Video For "Can't Feel My Face"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

It seems likely that "Can't Feel My Face," the quick-stepping latest single from The Weeknd, will go down as the fulcrum point of his career. Nestled snugly at #2 on the Billboard charts and widely-praised by fans and critics alike, the track sees Abel Tesfaye trading in his trademark slither for something more kinetic--it's a brilliant dance floor moment from an artist that, until now, has confined himself to the bedroom. Now, The Weeknd has shared the video for "Cant' Feel My Face" via Apple Music and has continued his evolution.

What's immediately notable about the new clip is its choice of perspective: long shots of Tesfaye performing on tinsel-draped stage make up the majority of the video, with only a few cursory pans across female subjects. For once, it is The Weeknd who is being watched; the ravenous (and at times, violent) male gaze that dominates his past visuals has been considerably dialed back. It is The Weeknd that's objectified in "Can't Feel My Face," and it is him that ultimately meets a violent end.

Fans should take note of the gaunt cigarette smoker who appears in the new video--we've seen him before. In the closing seconds of his next-most-recent video "The Hills," Tesfaye escaped a car crash only to wander into a mansion, where a strange man laid in wait for him. That same man is back in today's video, throwing a lighter onto The Weeknd and setting him ablaze. It seems to only improve his dance moves and the crowd goes wild. What could it all mean?

The Weeknd's upcoming LP The Beauty Behind The Madness will be released on August 28th. Pre-order it on iTunes today, and just for kicks, watch Tom Cruise lip sync "Cant' Feel My Face" from Monday night's episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

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