Review: Dawn FM by The Weeknd


On January 7, 2022, Abel Tesfaye, more popularly known as The Weeknd, released the 16-track album Dawn FM. With a feature from Tyler, The Creator, Lil Wayne, and narrations done by Jim Carrey, this was The Weeknd’s attempt at a more positive result in a time when it feels like the world is crashing down around us. He wrote his previous album After Hours at the start of the world being engulfed by the Covid virus and when he felt he was “wallowing in his depression” This time, he wanted to give his listeners and fans something different..  


The fourth song on the album, “Take My Breath,” was originally released in August of 2021. However, with the release of this album, The Weeknd remixed some pre-released songs in order to make sure the album still felt new. Although the song isn’t too much different from the originally released version, it is longer and has a more intricate introduction than before. While the lyrics did not change, the song has a more upbeat feel than the previous version. It’s interesting to hear a new take on it, and the environment of the album gives the song itself a better presence. 


The eighth track on the album, “Here We Go…Again,” which features Tyler, The Creator, is yet another of The Weeknd’s love songs. But, this one has something different to offer; it could be that Tyler’s part adds a huge element, or maybe the lyrics hold more power. The Weeknd throws hints at who he’s romantically involved with, causing relationship rumors and possibly even confirming some of them with lines such as, “my new girl, she a movie star.” Stirring the pot even more in his fanbase. 


The ninth song, “Best Friends,” is slightly more explicit than most of the songs on the album, but that isn’t at all what stands out. From the first to the final note, there’s something special about it. The tempo and tone of his voice gives a contemporary appearance. I think The Weeknd does a good job at setting examples on how music imitates life and art and inspires creativity. He sings about not believing he can commit to a relationship and that he can’t survive another heartbreak. Another one of his strong suits is his appeal to emotion; fans can easily connect and relate to themes in his music.  


Track thirteen, “Don’t Break My Heart,” is another love song. However, I think it’s pretty well known at this point that The Weeknd is notorious for creating love songs and expressing things that some of his listeners don’t know how to say. Somehow, he manages to fit emotions and feelings into every song, emotions that many don’t know how to talk about. “Don’t Break My Heart” has a different rhythm than the other songs, but a little change thrown in is what makes it so special. 


The final song on this album, “Phantom Regret by Jim,” is only Jim Carrey speaking. The Weeknd has no verse on the track. Despite this, the track brings you a feeling that nothing else on the album could accomplish. Jim Carrey’s contribution brings an almost preacher-like quality which leaves listeners in a contemplative state. “Consider the flowers, they don’t try to look right. They just open their petals and turn to the light.” The lyrics leave one in an empowered state due to Carrey’s personal take on battling insecurities and trying to please. I personally found this track to be beautiful and touching, it nearly brought me to tears, an especially perfect addition to this blissful album. 

With all honesty, the almost one-hour album felt like something that should be playing at a mall in the 80’s. Casually going up the escalator to your favorite store with one of his songs following you. The Weeknd definitely achieved his goal of producing something more positive and upbeat than his previous album. Some songs put you into a frozen trance, focusing on the lyrics, while others just made you want to get up and sing along with no limits. However, adding random narrations at the end of every song and making it sound like you’re listening to a radio station, was a little odd, but different; and not a bad kind of difference. I absolutely recommend giving Dawn FM a listen, it’s worth your time.