The Weeknd’s music famously sounds like a sci-fi cinematic experience. Well-crafted synths overlap and compete with each other for supremacy. Initially, it feels like a slow burn of a song is about to begin. All of that goes out the window when Tesfaye’s voice launches into a high-speed delivery, whining with distorted vibrato, setting the stage for the upcoming groove. The chords grow ominously as Tesfaye paints the scene; “And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb, and she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come, but at least we'll both be beautiful and stay forever young, this I know, (yeah) this I know.”
Tesfaye is so into this woman that she is like a drug to him. Not being able to feel one’s face is a sensation associated with cocaine, and listeners of this track might even interpret the whole story as a love relationship with the drug; it will be the death of him, yet he loves it. This is not unlike 2Pac’s rap track “Me and My Girlfriend”, which is about his gun that never leaves him. Metaphors aside, if “Can’t Feel My Face” is really about a human relationship, then the feelings involved here are truly out of wack. For instance, Tesfaye’s indifference, whether he is high or just depressed, might be why he is saying he can’t feel anything, or emote. And for her part, the lover girl is saying don’t worry about it; keep up the charade of a love affair. They say they are deep in love and willing to crash and burn at the end. There is something truly defeatist about their union, as Tesfaye admits, “And she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come, all the misery was necessary when we're deep in love, yes, I know (yes, I know), girl, I know.” The strange poetry at work here is a head-trip and madly inventive.
The groove is so funky, with a bass line that double taps behind the beat, causing a desire to slide and shuffle your feet in a nu-disco manner, throwing in the occasional Michael Jackson pose on the slap of the beat. It’s no wonder why Tesfaye catches on fire as he dances on stage. He is really burnig this mutha down on this classic dance track.
Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Abel Tesfaye, Peter Svensson
"Can't Feel My Face" is a song performed by Canadian singer The Weeknd from his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). The song was released on June 8, 2015 as the third single from the album. It was written by Max Martin, Peter Svensson, Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha and The Weeknd, and produced by Max Martin and Payami.