It’s been roughly seven years since the hit song, ‘Earned It’ was released by the Weeknd. Since then, the Canadian singer-songwriter and record producer cemented his name among one of the greatest Pop and R&B artists. He has done this mammoth of a task through the consistency of each of his albums. While it is evident that he draws influence from other greats such as Michael Jackson himself, the Weeknd has undeniably created his own voice. Again, the pop icon delivers another set of tracks that deserves to be listened to again and again. Here’s our review of The Weeknd’s Dawn FM Album.
The pop star’s fifth album begins with the lead song: Dawn FM. The combination of vocals and electro sound effects is very effective in bringing the audience into a spaceship destined for the realm of the rest of the album. “You are now listening to 103.5 Dawn FM. You’ve been in the dark for way too long, it’s time to walk into the light and accept your fate with open arms.” As the narrator, who happens to be Jim Carrey, gives us a vague glimpse of what’s to come, we already know this album strays away from simply being a series of songs, rather it prides itself in being an experience – something all great albums share.
Welcome to the ’80s, where monotone British male vocals occupy every radio station. From the second song of Dawn FM alone, ‘Gasoline‘, we are already presented with a potential favorite from the entire album. It’s silky and yet rough around the edges vocals pair beautifully with the electro-pop melodies that truly transport us back to an amazing era of music.
Yet, because we know better, we’re aware that there will still be many great hits to choose from in this album. Cue the next song, ‘How Do I Make You Love Me?‘, and we hear the Weeknd’s recognizable rhythm and instant shifts to high-pitched verses. Further emphasizing the point that this album is more of an experience than mere songs, the artist employs the age-old tactic of utilizing the same beat at the end of one song and at the beginning of the next. The product? An extremely smooth transition from ‘How Do I Make You Love Me?‘ to ‘Take My Breath‘, which we got to have a listen to before the rest of the album last year.
The mandatory love song is delivered to us in an unconventional manner in the form of Dawn FM’s seventh track, Out of Time. With a chorus that goes, “Say I love you, girl, but I’m out of time. Say I’m there for you, but I’m out of time. Say that I’ll care for you, but I’m out of time”, we get a sing-along that will probably get stuck in our heads once or twice in the coming months.
While essentially the whole album strays away from features, Tyler, The Creator makes an appearance on the eighth track entitled ‘Here We Go… Again‘. And then six songs later, we get a glimpse of Lil Wayne as he spits bars more than halfway through the song. The rap exhibits 21st-century qualities through its simplistic and rather uniform flow. Yet, the insertion of this rap is quite important to ‘I Heard You’re Married‘ and the rest of the album as it reminds us that it wasn’t released 40 years prior during the spandex and mullet era.
In conclusion, the Weeknd’s fifth studio album is a very strong entry into the artist’s portfolio of works. Even if this was the very last album the artist ever produced, it would do justice to his artistic capabilities and unique style as a singer. While the album indeed stays close to the ’80s theme set out from the very beginning, the subject matter injected into certain song lyrics is more relevant now than ever, so it’s best to have yourself a listen.
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