As teased earlier this week, the Weeknd has dropped a remix and video of “Save Your Tears,” one of the standout tracks from his blockbuster “After Hours” album, featuring Ariana Grande.
The video is an eye-popping and surreal animated treatment with renderings of both artists that was directed by Jack Brown and produced by Blinkink. The video plays into the “After Hours” theme and storyline — we see the red-jacketed character, there’s also the recurring element of decapitation — but is more of an improvisation on it than a development of the storyline (as far as we can tell, anyway).
The collaboration marks at least the third time the Weeknd and Grande have worked together, previously on his 2014 song “Love Me Harder” — which also marked his first collaboration with Max Martin, the most successful songwriter-producer of the past 25 years — and her track “Off the Table.”
Even before this remix, “Save Your Tears” was one of the most successful songs from one of the most successful albums of the past decade: It is certified double platinum and has surpassed 1 billion streams.
It also continues a hot streak for the Weeknd that began back in November of 2019 with the release of the first songs from “After Hours,” “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights.” The latter song was the fastest to reach 2 billion streams in Spotify history and is one of only four tracks to hit that mark.
Despite the pandemic, the Weeknd has had a monumentally successful past year: In addition to the success of “After Hours” and its singles, he headlined the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime show, made memorable performances on the American Music Awards and the MTV VMAs, and, not least, gave an unprecedented and far-reaching cover interview to Variety.
He has also donated more than $3 million to a wide variety of causes, ranging from Covid-19 charities and MusiCares to $300,000 for the victims of the explosion in Beirut last summer.