23 Min Released Sep 23, 2015

20. The Weeknd: Dance of Deception

The Weeknd’s deliriously funky chart topper “Can’t Feel My Face” has sparked sweat-soaked dance sessions across the country, but dark notes lurk at the outskirts of this ebullient jam. Chromatic intrusions and Classical laments crowd the scene and invite more clandestine interpretations. What’s this song really about? The secret lies in the scale.

The Weeknd – Wicked Games
The Weeknd – Earned It
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
L’Arpeggiata – Monteverdi ‘s Amor (Lamento Della Ninfa, Rappresentativo)
Skrillex & Diplo – Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber)

  • You can find more deceptively addictive songs in our Spotify playlist. **Alex Ross’s great chapter on the long lineage of the Lament is indispensable. Find it in his book Listen to This and a précis of it at his blog The Rest is Noise.
Switched On Pop

Switched On Pop

Breaking down how popular music works

Go To Show Page

More Episodes

#116: Ariel Edwards-Levy's favorite pun (AAPOR edition)

The Pollsters

Margie talks to queen of the Huffington Post fempire Ariel Edwards-Levy, and she recounts the vibe from the AAPOR conference, the role of gender in 2016 polling, and her favorite pun. Follow her immediately @aedwardslevy.

16 Min

May 19, 2017

Episode 34: No honeymoon for Trump

POLITICO's Nerdcast

POLITICO reporters discuss the Electoral College confusion, how Donald Trump's favorability numbers will affect his presidency and the latest cabinet appointments - including Rex Tillerson.

47 Min

Dec 16, 2016

The Robotic Movement: Less Machine, More Human

WSJ Tech News Briefing

The Wall Street Journal's Nathan Olivarez-Giles breaks down the newest crop of robots making their way on the horizon and demonstrating new human-like skills and charm.

6 Min

Jan 8, 2017