Song of the Week: The Weeknd Struggles With a “Sacrifice”

Alison Wonderland, Ylona Garcia, and x also dropped essential tracks

the weeknd sacrifice
The Weeknd, photo courtesy of the artist

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, a new single from The Weeknd provides the perfect Friday soundtrack.

    The Weeknd went high-concept with Dawn FM, the new album that arrived today, January 7th — and it worked. The radio station storyline is tinged with an air of sadness, and the commitment to the bit feels perfectly paired with the artist’s penchant for ’80s sounds.

    “Sacrifice,” the artist’s next single, is more of the irresistible fare for which The Weeknd has become known. He knows how to keep things interesting, pulling off homages that don’t feel outdated, and re-tooling throwback sounds for the present day.


    Abel’s wavy vocals sound right at home here. The production is bouncy and bright, making “Sacrifice” stand out in an album packed with earworms (like the also fantastic “How Do I Make You Love Me”). Something The Weeknd excels at, though, is weaving heavier themes into deceptively bright tracks, and “Sacrifice” is no exception. “I hold you through the toughest parts/ When you feel likе it’s the end/ ‘Cause life is still worth living,” he promises.

    In the chorus, though, where he declares that he doesn’t want to sacrifice anything for his lover’s approval, he shows a reversal of the themes presented in this album’s predecessor, After Hours, and even seems to show some acceptance towards the idea of being on his own.


    Whether heading into this album ready to peel back the many layers it contains or looking for a track to kick off Friday, “Sacrifice” is the perfect starting point.

    — Mary Siroky
    Contributing Editor