The Weeknd has soared in popularity in recent years, especially after the release of his last album “After Hours” and performing at last year’s Super Bowl. There are high expectations for “Dawn FM” and The Weeknd delivers.
“Dawn FM” is set up as a fictional radio station, with Jim Carrey narrating as the DJ. In the opening song, listeners hear Carrey say, “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.”
The album explores the ideas of purgatory, the afterlife and making it to the light at the end of the tunnel. Still, The Weeknd allows listeners to decide. “It could feel celebratory, could feel bleak, however you want to make it feel, but that’s what The Dawn is for me,” The Weeknd said in an interview with Billboard.
The album blends of R&B and pop with strong 80s sounds on the tracks “How Do I Make You Love Me?” and “Out of Time.” This genre of music isn’t new for The Weeknd, whose main musical influences are Michael Jackson and Prince.
Notable features on the album include Tyler, the Creator on “Here We Go… Again” and Lil’ Wayne on “I Heard You’re Married.” They both pair well with The Weeknd’s vocals, adding something special to the songs with their own unique styles.
One unique feature of the album is that the songs smoothly transition and fade into each other. It makes for easy and continuous listening and adds a relaxing feel to the album.
The Weeknd has always been masterful at storytelling in his songs. In “Is There Someone Else?” he sings, “I don’t deserve someone loyal to me, and I don’t want to be a prisoner to who I used to be, I swear I changed my ways for the better.” People can relate to his songs as he reveals his mistakes and regrets, specifically in his past relationships.
Carrey closes out the album with “Phantom Regret by Jim,” asking listeners to self-reflect on their life. “Now that all future plans have been postponed, and it’s time to look back on the things you thought you owned, do you remember them well?” Carrey says.
In this new era of The Weeknd, “Dawn FM” provides a sense of hope in a dark world, reminding us that the dawn is here.