Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

The Weeknd – Save Your Tears

So we hear there was some kind of sporting event…


Al Varela: “Save Your Tears” quietly built itself a reputation as a fan favorite deepcut, and now it’s gotten a big viral video to go along with it and revived the After Hours cycle that seemingly spent its whole run coasting on “Blinding Lights”. “Save Your Tears” isn’t as good as that, but it’s a damn good pop song. Although it’s one of the cleaner-produced songs on the After Hours, it’s no less unstable in its emotions. It’s like walking through a house of mirrors, looking for the answers, and being surrounded by your own reflection as you try to find some clarity or escape from the emotions running through you. The Weeknd is terrified of showing any emotional support, but it’s not out of malice or cold-hearted instinct but his fear of catching feelings for an ex he has no reason to leave hurt or heartbroken. But he does it anyway, because leaving on good terms would mean falling down the spiral that his old ex sent him down. He can try to save those tears for another day, but he’s rapidly realizing that he never had a choice.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the more artists are not releasing singles independent from albums, the phenomenon of more artists dropping two or three albums in a year shifting our attention spans, or the reality that the pandemic has swallowed so much music in its dark void, but it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to enjoy the proper rollout of an album’s fourth single. “Save Your Tears” is a welcome addition to The Weeknd’s “After Hours” radio dominance, healthily building on the album’s previous themes of loneliness and self-destruction with something epic in scope, tender in tone, and tragic in story. 

Thomas Inskeep: Lyrically bland, musically yet another ’80s synthpop pastiche. Can you do anything else, Abel?

Edward Okulicz: ’80s pastiche, rinse and repeat, sure, but this is a pretty good one! My big problem with The Weeknd is that for all the discussion about his songwriting, everything he does is so damned obvious. You know what emotional strings and melodic progressions he’s going to pull even before he pulls them, and you could spend days drawing out the sources, or you could just enjoy. And this one makes me think “obvious A Flock of Seagulls influence, huzzah.”

Katherine St Asaph: Another one for the pile of reasons I want to time travel back to 2011: to crush hopes and dreams by telling people that ten years later (on top of all the other ten-years-later developments I’d already crushed their hopes and dreams with), the House of Balloons guy would be releasing dirtbag renditions of Katy Perry. The percussion is so stiff, the vocals so gulped to the exact contours of the demo, the lyrics so banal and the extended tabloid universe supposedly explaining the lyrics even more so, that I wish I knew more about the NFL so I could invoke the league’s most uncoordinated, unwinningest team in a post-Super-Bowl burn.

Alfred Soto: The opening synthesized thud could’ve come from a hundred sadsack Pitchfork favorites from the early ’10s who own Icicle Works albums or something, and the precision of the machinery mitigates The Weeknd’s asshole anguish, eliminates the anguish even. When he urges her to save her tears, he doesn’t mean it as a come-on.

Samson Savill de Jong: I wonder if “Save Your Tears” works better as an album track rather than a single. It feels like the ending scene of an emotional film, the climactic moment when the characters come to accept whatever it is they need to accept and have a good weep about it. But those scenes only work when you’ve got the preceding 90 minutes to understand the story.

Reader average: [8] (10 votes)

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4 Responses to “The Weeknd – Save Your Tears”

  1. Hey which one of you threw Circles and Blinding Lights in a blender? You? I want you to make a gallon of this every day and put it on my desk at exactly 5 PM and if you do I will give you a $5,000 raise.

  2. Katherine I literally can’t unhear this as a Katy Perry song now…

  3. to be totally fair it actually reminds me of someone else, I just still can’t think of who it is

  4. this is such a Sally Shapiro song