The Weeknd’s 2015 video for “Can’t Feel My Face” is a solo masterpiece, and so it’s interesting to learn of an unreleased alternate visual that cedes the spotlight to someone else. According to a press release, this original video for “Can’t Feel My Face” was binned due to a “shift in creative direction.” It puts an emphasis on the “She,” of the line, “She told me don’t worry,” offering a steamier, more literal interpretation of the song.
His female co-star Camille Rowe shines as a party fiend riding the high of her life. She nails a couple of different looks: the bathroom mirror, just after; the dance floor thirstiness, when she should really grab a drink of water but there’s someone else she’d like to slurp; the vacant drift; and the near-bottomless hole of a bad comedown.
She’s good enough to be a problem for The Weeknd. “Can’t Feel My Face” was the megahit that vaulted him to superstardom, but with this alternative video he disappears into the background. Besides, the official release is much more interesting; Tesfaye’s face sells the triple themes of addiction, horniness, and worry, until it all gets to be too much and he spectacularly bursts into flames. Check out both versions below.
The release of the alternate video celebrates the sixth anniversary of his sophomore album Beauty Behind the Madness. He’s come a long way since 2015, including one of the great pop albums of recent memory and the Super Bowl halftime show. But even as he prepares to release the new album The Dawn, some things haven’t changed. His new single “Take My Breath,” which we named our Song of the Week, was co-written with Max Martin, who also helped pen “Can’t Feel My Face.”