Take My Breath

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"Take My Breath"
The Weeknd - Take My Breath.png
Single by the Weeknd
ReleasedAugust 6, 2021 (2021-08-06)
StudioMXM (Los Angeles and Stockholm)
Genre
Length
  • 3:40 (single/radio version)
  • 5:51 (extended version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Max Martin
  • Oscar Holter
  • The Weeknd
The Weeknd singles chronology
"Better Believe"
(2021)
"Take My Breath"
(2021)
"Die for It"
(2021)
Music video
"Take My Breath" on YouTube

"Take My Breath" is a song by Canadian singer the Weeknd. It was released on August 6, 2021 through XO and Republic Records, as the lead single from his upcoming fifth studio album.[2] The song was written and produced by the Weeknd, Max Martin and Oscar Holter, with Ahmad Balshe receiving additional songwriting credits.[3]

A disco, dance-pop, synth-pop, funk and synthwave track with elements of alternative rock and psychedelic pop, "Take My Breath" was met with widespread critical acclaim for the Weeknd's vocals and its production, which was influenced by the beats and synthesizers of the 1980s.[4][5]

Background and promotion

The Weeknd first teased that he was working on a new album in September 2020, via an interview with Rolling Stone in which he stated "I might have another album ready to go by the time this quarantine is over".[6] Later on during the 2021 Billboard Music Awards in May, he went on to state in his acceptance speech "I just want to say the After Hours are done and The Dawn is coming."[7] Throughout June and July, the Weeknd continued to mention his upcoming project under the tentative title The Dawn by revealing a new transitional look. He also released the singles "You Right" with Doja Cat and "Better Believe" with Belly and Young Thug during that period.[8]

On August 2, 2021, a snippet of "Take My Breath" with a visual of a sunrise titled "The Dawn Is Coming" and a GQ cover story was released in anticipation of new music.[9] The title of the single and its release date of August 6 was confirmed later that day through a promotional video for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which featured hurdlers Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad, middle-distance runner Athing Mu and sprinter Gabrielle Thomas.[10][11]

Lyrics and composition

"Take My Breath" has been described by music critics and listeners as a disco,[12] dance-pop,[13] synth-pop,[14] funk[15] and synthwave[16] track with elements of alternative rock[17] and psychedelic pop.[18] The single and radio version of the song runs for a duration of three minutes and forty seconds, while the extended version has a length of five minutes and fifty-one seconds. It was written in the key of A♭ major with a tempo of 121 beats per minute.[19] Lyrically, the song details an entanglement in a romantic relationship driven by lust that ultimately leads to autoerotic asphyxiation.[20]

Critical reception

"Take My Breath" received universal acclaim.[21][22] The vocals and production of the track received praise from Billboard's Joe Lynch, who compared the latter aspect's usage of a synthesizer to the synth riff that was used in Donna Summer's 1977 single "I Feel Love".[21] Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian gave the song a five-star rating, stating that it is "an instant disco-pop masterpiece".[22] Consequence of Sound writer Mary Siroky complimented "Take My Breath", “the music is pulsing, almost dizzying in its dance-floor intensity from start to finish, leaving the listener appropriately breathless”.[23] Chief critic Jon Pareles of The New York Times highlighted the record’s retro appeal, “the disco thump, electric piano chords and call-and-response falsetto vocals in "Take My Breath" hark back to vintage Bee Gees.[24] Journalist Quinn Moreland from Pitchfork complimented the intro and chorus, “from the strutting intro to the extremely infectious melody, "Take My Breath" is full of life”.[25] Many listeners have noted that the single is reminiscent of Michael Jackson in terms of vocals, and the late 1980's in terms of production.[26]

Accolades

Awards and nominations for "Take My Breath"
Year Organization Award Result Ref(s)
2021 UK Music Video Awards Best R&B/Soul Video – International Nominated [27]

Music video

The music video for "Take My Breath" was first teased by the Weeknd on social media via self-released images of the visual during the week leading up to the release of the single.[28] Directed by Cliqua, it originally was supposed to play before IMAX showings of The Suicide Squad, but was reportedly pulled due to epilepsy concerns in regards to the pervasive strobe lighting in the video.[29] The video was released alongside the song on August 6, 2021.[30] In the video, the Weeknd is seen walking outside overlooking a sunrise, before entering a nightclub with pulsating strobe lights. Upon entering the club, he meets his love interest, played by actress and stuntwoman Shaina West. The two dance together and exchange breaths through an oxygen tank, before the Weeknd's breath is literally taken away as he gets strangled by West's braids. The video ends with the Weeknd regaining his breath and consciousness as he is seen lying down on the club floor.[31]

Use in media

"Take My Breath" was the official theme song of the professional wrestling pay-per-view event Crown Jewel.[32]

Track listing

Single package[33]

  1. "Take My Breath" – 3:40
  2. "Take My Breath (Instrumental)" – 3:40
  3. "Take My Breath (Extended Version)" – 5:51

Personnel

  • The Weeknd – songwriting, vocals, production, programming, keyboards, bass, drums
  • Belly – songwriting
  • Max Martin – songwriting, production, programming, keyboards, bass, drums
  • Oscar Holter – songwriting, production, programming, keyboards, bass, drums
  • Elvira Anderfjärd – background vocals
  • David Bukovinsky – cello
  • Shellback – drums
  • Magnus Sjölander – percussion
  • Mattias Bylund – strings
  • Mattias Johansson – violin
  • Sam Holland – engineering, studio personnel
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing, studio personnel
  • Dave Kutch – mastering, studio personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[90] Gold 45,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[91] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[92] Gold 35,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[93] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Release history and formats for "Take My Breath"
Country Date Format Label Ref.
Various August 6, 2021 [94]
Australia Contemporary hit radio UMA [95]
Italy Universal [96]
United States August 9, 2021 Hot adult contemporary radio
  • XO
  • Republic
[97]
August 10, 2021 Rhythmic contemporary radio [98]
Contemporary hit radio [99]
Russia August 12, 2021 Universal [43]

References

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External links

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