The Weeknd Releases Strong Album “Dawn FM”


Image/ Matilda Finn

Almost two years after his last album release, Toronto artist The Weeknd released his long-awaited project “Dawn FM” on Jan. 7. The 16 track album resembles his previous 80s-inspired release “After Hours” which was met with critical acclaim. As one of the most popular and prolific RnB artists, as well as his recent Super Bowl performance, this new project is sure to bring in many listeners. The heavy use of synth leads on the album helps establish a vintage sound that is seldom heard in modern music. Critics may call the album repetitive due to somewhat similar instrumentals on different tracks, but the album makes up for it with dynamic vocal performances. The album also features unexpected narration from Jim Carrey, who helps establish the narrative that “Dawn FM” is a radio station that listeners are tuned into. After the album’s self-titled intro track, the album starts strong with the song “Gasoline.” With an interesting music video to accompany the track, “Gasoline” captivates listeners instantly. The interesting chorus sounds very different from modern pop music and resembles the 80s with impressive accuracy. Shortly after the album’s release, a music video for this track was released, with The Weeknd dawning the same strange makeup that he wears on the album cover. Several solid tracks come after this song, including the energetic “Take My Breath” that was released as a single before the whole project. The track “Here We Go Again” features rapper Tyler, the Creator, who adapts very well to the unique production. He provides a great verse about an on-and-off relationship, as the title suggests. As one of the two listed features on “Dawn FM,” Tyler does not disappoint and makes this track one of the most memorable on the entire project. 

Another impressive aspect of “Dawn DM” is the cohesiveness of the album throughout the body of work. There are many transitions from song to song, which make the album feel more seamless and result in a captivating first listen. Some of the most memorable transitions take place from the song “How Do I Make You Love Me?” into the next track “Take My Breath.” The added flare of the transitions alongside the narration throughout the project creates a unique experience for listeners. 

Although this album sonically digresses from earlier works such as “Trilogy” and “Starboy,” fans of The Weeknd should be pleased with this new release. If you enjoyed “After Hours,” there is a good chance you will enjoy this album as well. Defining qualities of The Weeknd’s music such as impressive vocals and great products are still present in this project. “Dawn FM” resembled his last album while also being a distinct, unique project with its own sound. This album was certainly quality work with some great moments, and I would place it just under one or two albums from The Weeknd in terms of quality. The project is sure to please fans of the artist that have been expecting new music after his last release.