The Weeknd breaks boundaries on “Dawn FM”

With all the dreaded gloom that’s been carried over to 2022, a ray of light shone through with The Weeknd’s newest album, “Dawn FM.” 

Two years after his outstanding success from his award-winning album “After Hours,” The Weeknd, known as Abel Tesfaye, is drawing in his eclectic style of 80’s pop with dark storytelling lyrics that have thrilled fans. After leaving fans hanging by dropping several ominous hints since May 2021, the new album dropped January 7, 2022. 

Leaving the haunting streets and the uncertainty of night behind him, Tesfaye finds himself as a DJ in a club, aged by all of his past demons. On the contrary, the album’s concept revolves around a radio station, Dawn FM. Comedian and actor Jim Carrey interjects with radio catchphrases and ads that allude to future songs. Tesfaye is not alone as the album features Lil Wayne, Quincy Jones and Tyler, The Creator.

After the calming albeit eerie opening, the album gives way to “Gasoline,” a recap for fans that while Tesfaye’s getting better, he’s still thinking about self-destruction after all these years. The mood transitions effortlessly from the synth-filled “How Do I Make You Love Me?” to an extended version of his #1 song, “Take My Breath.” Tesfaye’s brilliance shines on “Sacrifice,” a song that showcases his recent emergence into the nostalgic pop scene with elements of smooth soul. 

Following a short interlude, “Here We Go… Again” breathes new life into melancholic R&B that his fans know and love. Tesfaye’s vocals blended with Tyler, The Creator’s rap lyrics, delivering one of the most unique songs on the album. Songs like “Is There Someone Else?” and “Starry Eyes” provide mystical insight into Tesfaye’s life through alluring lyrics.

Keeping in time with the theme of a radio station, the mock advertisements help illustrate the elaborate and intricate world that is Tesfaye’s mind. Shreds of previous albums and foreshadowed songs are interwoven throughout, leaving Easter eggs for fans to discover. 

As the album comes to a close, “Less Than Zero” is an elevated version of his previous successful ballad, “Scared to Live,” off of “After Hours.” With glittering vocals and an electric beat, Tesfaye created the most perfect song to wrap up the album, a bittersweet sliver of hope that the worst is behind him. Jim Carrey delivers a three-minute monologue, guiding listeners to the divine light and promises peace before the album closes.

With five number one songs on the album, The Weeknd has truly outdone himself in creating a new era to envelop his fans into. They say, “it is always the darkest before the dawn,” and The Weeknd has brought the brightest ray of light to the music industry in a long time.

Header Photo: With five number one songs, The Weeknd’s newest album is sure to bring listeners to their feet. (Courtesy Photo via Associated Press)

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