Album Review | Dawn FM by The Weeknd


Martha Asencio Rhine/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

The Weeknd performs in front of fans during the halftime show for Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida.

Jade Garcia, Social Media Editor

After releasing four studio albums, singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye — better known as The Weeknd — finally released his highly anticipated fifth studio album, Dawn FM, on Jan. 7.

The Weeknd’s career has taken off and has been greatly respected since the early 2010’s, but in 2020 he made history with his fourth studio album After Hours. After breaking many records, he had many fans (including myself) waiting to see if his next album reached its expectations. I can say that they definitely met my expectations.  Even after a month since its release, people on social media are still talking about this album. I can proudly say that I’ve been listening to Dawn FM since its release and I can’t get enough of it. Artists, producers, and actors featured on this album include Lil Wayne, Tyler the Creator, Jim Carrey, Quincy Jones, and Josh Safdie. 

The Weeknd has been a main artist for me for a while now, and I can say that this album is very different from the others. Some artists tend to create mini story or plot lines for their work, and the Weeknd did an incredible job on doing so. This album puts us, as listeners, through a trip or a movie where we get to experience whatever the artist intended for us to experience. There’s something so fascinating about this album, and definitely stems from the whole concept behind it. It starts off with the title track, “Dawn FM”, where The Weeknd opens up with singing that then leads into a radio-sounding audio that is voiced by Jim Carrey. I think that the way he incorporated Carrey’s voice as a radio host is so cool and something I’ve never seen done before on an album.

I always like to focus on the songs artists put out before the actual album, and in this case, it was “Take My Breath”. This song got me prepared for what I was going to hear on this album and gave me an idea of what the Weeknd was going for. It fits perfectly with Dawn FM and is such a great match to what he put out just months later. When first listening to this album, it seemed as if there were a lot of influences from older music genres incorporated into the rhythm and the beat of these new songs. When I listen to Dawn FM, it sounds like I’m listening to a modernized version of 80’s inspired music, which is characteristic of the Weeknd. I really love the idea of making another generation of music sound different and that’s something I knew The Weeknd would succeed in. Dawn FM is full of upbeat songs with a euphoric feeling to them, such as “Sacrifice” and “Gasoline”,  and songs that have a mellow feeling to it but are still enjoyable like, “Less Than Zero” and “How Do I Make You Love Me.” These songs are all a mix between futuristic rhythms and older rhythms that don’t initially seem like they’d go well together, but when listening to the album, they go great together.

There comes a point in time where music that’s being put out by many artists now starts sounding the same, so when artists appreciate and showcase different types of sounds and music, it’s very special. I can’t think of many other artists who can captivate my attention even after producing music from many different genres, but The Weeknd can. Dawn FM met all of my expectations for his music and as a whole album in general. Even after a high peak with his previous album, The Weeknd didn’t fail to meet my and other people’s expectations with this amazing album. If you haven’t already, this album is definitely worth a listen and will for sure be one of the biggest albums of 2022.