QUICKSPINS: The Weeknd – Dawn FM

Dawn FM proves once again that this ’80s synth-heavy sound feels extremely natural for The Weeknd

Arguably one of, if not the biggest popstar in the world, The Weeknd is fresh off the release of his fifth studio album Dawn FM. The Toronto native is back after a massively successful last two years. He most notably released the biggest album of 2020: After Hours, which received an incredible reception, both commercially and critically. Despite getting snubbed by the Grammys in 2021 (don’t get me started on this) he headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show, a feat only few artists have the chance to achieve. 

Dawn FM is a continuation of the sound The Weeknd was popularizing on After Hours, with its ’80s inspired instrumentals, synth-pop infused melodies and some of the catchiest songs he has ever put out. 

Dawn FM is a radio station themed album narrated by none other than Jim Carrey, the radio announcer of “the number one station to free your soul: Dawn 103.5,” as The Weeknd mentions at the end of “Here We Go… Again” featuring Tyler, The Creator. Carrey appears on multiple occasions, whether he is making advertisements on “Every Angel Is Terrifying” or having his own closing monologue on “Phantom Regret by Jim,” his presence on the record really reinforces its radio themes.

Since Dawn FM is presented as a radio show, it flows exceptionally well together and is filled with flawless transitions between songs. The transitions are so immaculate that someone who doesn’t look at the song titles could easily think it’s one long song; for instance, the progression between the energetic “How Do I Make You Love Me?” to the Daft Punk influenced “Take My Breath.” It even took me at least seven listens to realize “Starry Eyes’” is a song on its own and not the outro to “Is There Someone Else?” For all of those reasons, it is significantly better to listen to this record in one sitting, rather than listening to certain tracks on their own.

Despite some songs not quite hitting the mark, like the bland “Gasoline” and “Don’t Break My Heart,” The Weeknd still manages to provide some ridiculously infectious tunes. Songs like “Out of Time,” “Less Than Zero” and “Best Friends” are key tracks that are a big reason why Dawn FM is so accessible. This album is perfect to dance to, but is also perfect to cook and clean to. Whether you’re nine or 99, it is hard to resist the captivating nostalgic electronic sound of Dawn FM.

Days after the release, The Weeknd announced that there was going to be a trilogy and if After Hours and Dawn FM are the first two installments, I simply cannot wait for the third one.

Score : 7.5/10

Trial track: “Out of Time”


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