Can’t Feel My Face
Writer(s): Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Abel Tesfaye, Peter Svensson (see lyrics here)
Released: June 8, 2015
First Charted: June 14, 2015
Peak: 13 US, 14 RR, 13 AC, 2 A40, 111 RB, 3 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.8 UK, 12.46 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1350.0 video, 1216.0 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
There seems to be some controversy over what this song is actually about. The line “I can’t feel my face” is taken from the 2001 movie Blow; Bobcat Goldthwait’s character utters it after taking cocaine. SF This led to speculation that the song is about cocaine. The idea isn’t without merit, considering Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is “clearly out of sorts over something that he knows isn’t good for him, but he can’t resist.” SF Musically, the unpredictable nature of the song simulates the erratic feeling cocaine induces. SF
The Weeknd himself seemed to confirm this when he marveled about winning an award at a kids show for a song about “a face-numbing off a bag of blow.” WK However, The Weeknd could just as easily be singing about “a passionate affair with a woman that he knows is no good for him, but is enjoying too much to stop.” SF He sings “she’ll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come.” SF Rolling Stone magazine suggested that he is “cleverly disguising his obsession with drugs beneath a metaphor about a dangerously hot fling.” SF
This was the first #1 song for The Weeknd and the twenty-first with Swedish songwriter/producer Max Martin in the credits. However, his previous efforts had all been by groups or solo female artists. This was his first by a male solo artist. SF The song also reached #1 in Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa and went top 10 in Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. WK
Billboard magazine critics voted this the best song of 2015, saing “There are enough hooks in this one single for a dozen chart-toppers.” SF Rolling Stone also ranked it the song of the year, saying The Weeknd’s “showstopping vocal performance is what makes it an instant classic.” SF Spin magazine’s Brennan Carley called the song “a thoroughly definitive, all-in jam.” WK Pitchfork’s Renato Pagnani acknowledged the Michael Jackson-esque nature of the song, saying it “could have come from an alternate-dimension Thriller produced by New Age composer Vangelis instead of Quincy Jones.” WK
The song was nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Last updated 4/3/2022.