This or That: Lorde or The Weeknd

THIS or THAT explores the world of music and attempts to decide, you know, if this is the thing and if that is just that.


Who doesn’t love setting things on fire? Setting someone on fire, now that’s a whole other level. Surprisingly, there are two popular videos out there at the moment where setting a person on fire is apparently perfectly acceptable. The Weeknd, who erupts into flames just by being too awesome it seems, and Lorde who straight up murders a guy with fire at the end of her collaboration with Disclosure. So, who’s got this?

The Weeknd is a dude defined by his soft Eric Benet-esque voice and trademark Marley-Badu hair. Oh, and leaving a vowel out of the spelling of his name for some reason. And now he’s got that big crossover hit that will make him a presence at formals and weddings for the next 30 years despite a chorus that makes very little sense.

“I Can’t Feel My Face” seems to mean he’s so in love that he doesn’t have functioning nerve endings in the skin on his face, which I’m not sure is really a common experience for those in love (although, I’m sure Rihanna and Chris Brown can relate).

In what would be a perfect video to set yourself up as a bruised face boxer, The Weeknd instead makes this quizzical choice of having his whole dancing body burn in flames while performing on stage. The human torch CGI effects are fine, and if not better than the crap used in that horrible Fantastic 4 movie this past summer, however, I can’t really see how this has anything to do with the song. But then again, neither does this one:

And like wow… what happened to Lorde? When did she turn into Catwoman Anne Hathaway mixed with runway model extraordinaire Kendall Jenner?

Technically, “Magnets” is a Disclosure song featuring Lorde, and I’ve got to say I find this new trend annoying. A ton of songs now credit the producers instead of the performers, which is good for the producers to get some credit, but, ugh… how boring. I’d like to just watch a Lorde video and know if this is her song or not. So good for you Disclosure, Mark Ronson, Zedd or Calvin Harris, but it’s confusing for the rest of us.

So yeah, Lorde, she’s looking good, she’s sounding good… but is she good? The new Adele kind of rode that song ‘Royals’ for about as long as her home country New Zealand is going to bank off the fame of being where Lord of the Rings was filmed. To be completely superficial, I’d say the knock against her was that she was odd looking, kind of like Eugene Levy and Rosanna Rosannadana had a baby:


I take it back though, she’s got a new look that I like, but if only this song wasn’t so… I don’t know, slick sounding. Feels tailor made to fade in and out during some kind of “getting things done”-type montage on a HBO show. Certainly it’s not that as catchy as “I Can’t Feel My Face” but it feels almost as soul-lessly commercial.

So who’s got THIS?

As much as that Disclosure song is about as weak as Lorde’s real life civilian boyfriend looks like he would be in an arm-wrestling match, I’ve got to say that the video is at least kind of cool with all the implied sex and the (not really justified) pre-meditated murder.

On the other hand, that The Weeknd song is about one over-play away from being “Uptown Funk”. I think anyone who is a fan of videos can see that this whole thing was just a rip-off of a much much superior Robbie Williams clip:

So The Weeknd, this week I’m afraid you’re THT loser!


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