The buildup toward the Weeknd’s next album began early last month with the release of his latest single, “Take My Breath” — but he threw a surprise into the mix on Thursday by dropping an alternate video for his 2015 smash “I Can’t Feel My Face,” and it’s a lot more racy than the official one that was originally released back in 2015.
Where the original featured the Weeknd performing to small, unimpressed audience in a hotel lounge — at least until an audience member throws a lighter onstage and the crowd begins dancing as the Weeknd dances while on fire — this one features a couple in the middle of the kind of debauched night that marked many of the songs and themes of his 2020 blockbuster album, “After Hours.” There’s sex with at least a couple of different partners, there’s a strong hint of drug use, there’s an argument and plenty more you can see for yourself; it’s interesting to see the 2015 Weeknd, stacked dreads and all, in a “new” video from that era.
Details about the release were scant — it hadn’t even been announced on the Weeknd’s socialsat the time of this article’s publication — except to note that this newly released video is the original one, which was then replaced by another video “due to a shift in creative direction,” according to a rep, and that this past week marks the sixth anniversary of the release of the Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” album that the song originally appeared on.
It comes amid a flurry of activity for the artist. Along with his new single, “Take My Breath,” and the follow-up to his blockbuster 2020 “After Hours” album coming sometime in the next few months, the Weeknd will be starring in and co-writing a new HBO series with “Euphoria”’s Sam Levinson, currently titled “The Idol,” and there’s a documentary about his eye-popping Super Bowl Halftime Show earlier this year called “The Show” coming on Showtime on Sept. 24.