Dawn FM Review: Weeknd Looks Back To The 80s And Adds Contemporary Sensitivities

Dawn FM

Reviewing Dawn FM, Weeknd continues in the drift of bending opposing sounds towards his own genre of music, refraining from chasing external trends. Born Abel Tesfaye, the singer did not release a new album in 2021. But he was big enough to feature in the halftime show of Super Bowl LV.

Dawn FM, the just-released 5th studio album has been his most abstract record this far. Designated as a show over the radio, on the voyage to the hereafter, with Jim Carrey providing the DJ’s voice.

While After Hours, his previous release in 2020 was full of references to 80s music, Dawn FM is a step further.

Dawn FM continues in the same vein, with instrumentation and arrangements touching on soft rock, new wave, and a mix of club-friendly music from that era. The sonic texture seems transported in from 4 decades ago.

The hall-of-mirror references and uniformity can in part be credited to Weeknd’s creators. While Max Martin, the Swedish producer has contributed to the record, the most momentous include is Daniel Lopatin, introducing the structured radio show. He is there as a vocalist and executive producer.

Dawn FM Is Textured Around An Era Where Computers And Synthesizers Were Making An Entry

Dawn FM is textured as an emotional quality of 80s electronic music reminiscent of a different era. it was the time synthesizers and computers became widely accessible to consumers. That era portends to a future but were flawed without the present-day processing power.

Weeknd came to post the culture of the 80s and only received a crash course covering the hits of the 80s while playing the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Naturally, he gravitates towards its cinematic and dramatic attributes.

After Carrey’s introduction, Dawn FM  moves to the rack Gasoline, where Weeknd finds his nihilistic groove.

The first half of Dawn FM is exceptional. The tracks are combined seamlessly.  A slight slip in quality is seen at the halfway mark but picks up towards the end.

The album is a fascinating contrast to After Hours. But Dawn FM remains the better album, a complete and coherent statement. It should be a smash hit from an artist who has little to prove commercially but still aspires to conquer new horizons of sound.

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