The Weeknd — Dawn FM — Album Review

Electronic | R&B | Pop

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

I would never have really guessed that we would get an album as hyped up as one from R&B titan The Weeknd so soon in the year. But if the release of his newest album Dawn FM proves anything, we are surely in for a very exciting musical 2022.

Reviewing The Weeknd’s fourth and previous studio album After Hours only felt like yesterday. But it only really hit me that said record was released almost two years ago. The depressing truth with reviewing After Hours, was that review came out just as the pandemic was starting, and we’re still in one now (albeit with a few less concerns).

But that’s neither here nor there; what I’m here to write about today, is this brand new album. Intentional or not, I feel that this album is uncannily apt in regards to how it reflects the hopefulness of the year, and how many of us have adapted our own peace of mind to reflect the world we live in now.

For me, the release of Dawn FM was mostly a complete surprise. The only track on here that wasn’t a completely new listen for me would be “Take My Breath”; what I initially thought to be a standalone track, released back in the summer of 2020. However, even this track sounds somewhat tweaked for the betterment and the flow of the album.

And that’s pretty much the gist of what Dawn FM is about, from what I had gathered through its narrative, ingeniously pushed forward and made more apparent by (of all people) legendary comedic actor Jim Carrey. As Carrey plays the role of a subconscious radio host, making sense of the albums title, Dawn FM goes philosophically deep into the idea of creating one’s own paradise within themselves, by fully letting go of their grief and regret. It all winds back to The Weeknd himself however, and holds on to the sense of introspection that past albums share.

Aside from Jim Carrey, this album carries even more exciting features, including Tyler, The Creator & Lil Wayne. It was clear that this album excelled in complementing each of these features musically, whilst still fitting in with the album’s aesthetic.

And while we’re on the subject of this album’s musicality, Dawn FM (for the most part) capitalises on the retro electronic aesthetic that made the likes of After Hours such a phenomenon. But at the same time, this album carries some of the most uniquely brilliant tunes, perhaps in The Weeknd’s entire discography.

While there is definitely much to praise in regards to the tracks on Dawn FM, I feel that this element is definitely more of a quality over quantity situation than the like of some previous albums. In other words, I would definitely say that the earlier half of the record carries the strongest tracks. I wasn’t blown away by as many tracks on Dawn FM, as I was with After Hours, for example. However, the tracks that did blow me away on this new project, blew me away more.

Besides, Dawn FM is much more of a project that excels by the merits of its narrative, aesthetic, and all of its little but important creative choices. Whatever way you slice it though, this album is a stellar start to our musical 2022, and a valuable addition to The Weeknd’s incredible discography.

**Epilepsy Warning For Music Video**

Favourite Tracks: How Do I Make You Love Me? | Sacrifice | Out of Time

Least Favourite Track: Gasoline

The Weeknd XO | Republic Records

Final Score: 82%



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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.