Gesaffelstein and The Weeknd are Back with a Pop Banger (Whether You Like It Or Not)
The track is great for what it aims to accomplish, but the collaboration has potential to be so much more.
Gesaffelstein used to be downright terrifying. His hard hitting instrumentals used to be scary, unsettling, and shattering to the core. Now it’s apparent that things have changed, not necessarily for better or for worse, just different. A hard left turn from his original heavy house practices, his new collaboration with The Weeknd is still more than worthwhile. “Lost in the Fire,” picks up where “My Dear Melancholy,” left off, a dark, smooth, and mysterious banger in which Abel’s gorgeous vocals ring perfectly over Gesaffelstein’s hauntingly rich chords.
“Lost in the FIre,” feels like more of a nod to the producer/vocalist pop method rather than a traditional Gesaffelstein track. Here we don’t see The Weeknd adapting to Gesaffelstein’s trademark style, but rather the two meeting in the middle to produce an accessible pop track, and arguably we see Gesaffelstein changing to fit the modern context of The Weeknd. For these reasons, it feels out of place to see the track listed as The Weeknd featured on a Gesaffelstein track, because one listen to the track proves that this credit is inaccurate. Nonetheless, this collaboration is still one that is meaningful, as despite the vast change from Gesaffelstein, the two icons of their respective genres still accomplish an incredibly infectious and powerful song to kick off 2019.
Although Gesaffelstein is veering away from his iconic style, his work with the Weeknd still proves to be a match made in heaven. A simple yet unforgettable beat, his dark tones function beautifully under Abel’s vocals as we see the R and B legend staying true to his roots for a solid performance. There are definite hints of formula in this track, but the formula they allude to is still one of dominance and grace from one of the most important singers of this generation. Furthermore, this track delivers themes that dedicated fans will not be new to: of love, loss, and underlying existential dread. Moving forward from “Starboy,” and “My Dear Melancholy,” aesthetics, “Lost in the Fire,” is a true Weeknd song, which, depending on your stance on Gesaffelstein, is both a positive and negative.
The accompanying video to this comeback track is fitting to recurring themes of both artists, a dark and alarming display of mystery and dismay. Strangely enough, the video itself seems to represent the artistic dynamic occurring on the track with the Weeknd center stage and Gesaffelstein sitting calmly in the background. In an iridescent all black appearance, he is still apparent and noticeable, just reluctant to hog the spotlight. Although I mention the producer vocalist model of music creation, it is important to note that although Gesaffelstein purists will dismiss this collaborative effort, being a “producer” backing The Weeknd is no artistic failure.
With “Lost in the Fire,” we are experiencing a new artistic path for both artists, specifically Gesaffelstein who up until recently we were unsure of whether we’d ever witness new content. Whether or not you approve of these new ventures, it is undeniable that this track is infectious and more importantly that these two artists have a connection that the people need to hear. As much as we should celebrate the return of an electronic legend, we should also appreciate the further unification of two drastically different fanbases. Just as an electronic sample can lead listeners to discover something new, it is important that this unique collaboration will bring differing musical communities to appreciate a wider array of creativity.