The Weeknd - Dawn FM
Jan 7, 2022
78
Dawn Fm is a satisfying sequel to Afters Hours with its own particularity, without equaling it. For the occasion The Weeknd supports his achievements by transcribing it in a concept as ambitious as interesting, which confirms his status of master of the Synthpop mainstream.

Here we are, the famous introduction to announce the new year that we never get tired of. So I'll go straight to the point: happy new year to all, full of achievements and happiness. Finally, what could be better than to start the year with a kind of last minute surprise, because this is what the arrival of The Weeknd's new album looks like and I think that nobody will be refractory to this news. If this fifth album Dawn FM arrives as a kind of Christmas present after the hour, it is simply because it comes to crown the 10 years of career of Abel Tesfaye, one of the most important superstars of the moment for those who still ignore it. It was not an easy task, having followed him since his beginnings. The Weeknd had a smashing debut in the internet era as one of the precursors of "PBR&B", mostly known as Alternative R&B thanks to his unmissable and irresistible trilogy (2011) that really put him in the spotlight. Since it's never easy to know how to bounce back from a budding success, it took The Weeknd a while to find a second wind and a formula that was to take him over the edge. That's why Kiss Land (2013) and Beauty Behind The Madness (2015), although underrated, give the impression of an artist who is looking for himself. In fact, it was not until Starboy (2016) that we understood that The Weeknd was going to become the "New Michael Jackson", as much by his considerable influence as by what he represents, that is to say an ultra popular artist who speaks to several generations of listeners. This brings us to After Hours (2020), the album of consecration as if The Weeknd had finally reached the glass ceiling.

If this new Alternative R&B /Synthpop formula shows that The Weeknd has not invented fire either, it sup-ports on the contrary the fact that it remains deeply contagious and mastered to satisfy the audience. One thing is sure, it is that The Weeknd makes his playground, a modernized retro that recalls the beautiful hours of Disco / Hi-NRG / New Wave from the mid-70s to the 80s. Dawn FM acts therefore globally and voluntarily as a sequel to its predecessor After Hours, that the artist himself defined by concept as "If the last record is the after hours of the night, then the dawn is coming". In the end, we quickly realize that the similarities are mostly in the musical tone that these albums share, more than in the concept itself. After Hours was a very nocturnal album that supports the solitude of its author (at least very centered on him), while Dawn FM is based on a concept with interaction, articulated around philosophical themes centered on existentialism and the approach of death. The correlation between After Hours and Dawn FM can be explained by the fact that the party is over, a kind of passage from youth to responsible adulthood. So far the idea of the concept and the themes of Dawn FM are really interesting because they fit well with the character and the musicality of The Weeknd, simply because the radio represents the listening platform where we find both the big commercial successes of the moment but also poadcasts. The Weeknd is concretely at his place in this delirium thanks to his status. Once again, I insist on the fact that The Weeknd manages as a kind of actor to play a role that suits him perfectly, since the very idea of a concept about radio in music goes back to 1967 with The Who Sell Out, and more recently with Magic Oneohtrix Point Never who even participates in Dawn FM.

Finally getting into the heart of the matter, after the eponymous introduction that clearly sets the scene of the concept through Jim Carrey himself. Gasoline already holds all the promises of the almost omnipresent collaboration of Daneil Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) as co-producer on Dawn FM, in itself an absolutely intelligent idea. Seriously, it's an immediate slap in the face. Gasoline proposes a Synthwave as psychedelic as warm, in direct link with the concept of the album, where we find Abel delivering some absolutely percussive vocal performances that we had never heard before. Overall we quickly understand that Dawn FM offers a more welcoming content than usual, in the sense that we feel a lot of positive energy and light, distinguishing itself from his previous works. The Weeknd gravitates then in a balance not easy to manage, putting the paradox in the heart of the subject by themes equally stormy, clearly pessimistic, while we feel a freedom and acceptance from the author quite strong. For this Abel has opted for the sequence without transitions of tracks, also reducing them in length so that they act as a moment in a story. How Do I Make You Love Me / Take My Breath / Sacrifice offer effective bangers but without real surprises, which would pass quietly on the radio and this is clearly the objective. Thanks to that, it fills almost all the boxes that a listener could check off to get there, i.e. a well mastered concept album that offers a very engaging listening experience from start to finish, without taking away the pop vignettes that also have an individual strength.

Fortunately, Dawn FM does not only contain club bangers, the album evolves in the middle of the adventure towards very languid R&B/Synthpop ballads with Out of Time or Here We Go..Again. One approaches then towards the most fascinating and seductive aspect according to me of this new opus. The atmosphere is so transcendent that we have the impression to discover a new facet of the Weeknd. However, after all these praises, Dawn FM drops in intensity from Best Friends, simply because the content is less formidable. If After Hours had very few weak moments, Dawn FM doesn't manage to achieve this feat and I think in a way that it's also the weight of the concept that ends up hurting it in a way. It's rather complex to explain, but the short format of the songs tend to deprive the individual song to shine at its true value. It's not normal for example to prefer the interlude "Every Angel Is Terrifying" to Best Friends for example. Let's just say that this phenomenon is accentuated when the song is weaker and the core of the project contains one. We finally find The Weeknd in form on Don't Break My Heart which has everything to become the future hit that is about to end the album with more conviction. If I had to make a synthesis of this analysis I would say first of all that Dawn FM is marked by irregularities and by its risk taking. Unfortunately, it lacks surprises and attempts to leave its comfort zone whereas Gasoline, Out of Time or Here We Go Again showed sincere promises. It's a pity because there are a lot of very good ideas, especially at the end with Less Than Zero, a powerful pop anthem that transpires the 70's and all the interventions of Jim Carrey. By trying to satisfy everyone, The Weeknd fell a little into the trap, which does not detract from the fact that Dawn FM remains a solid album

Doublez's Tags
20 Comments
Jan 7, 2022
I was waiting for your review! Gotta read it now, thank you! :D
Jan 7, 2022
I hope you'll enjoy it, while waiting to read yours too! (: @Nona
Jan 7, 2022
W reviewww
Jan 7, 2022
holy shit you're quick
Jan 7, 2022
wow, you really are a talented writer, that was fast.
Jan 7, 2022
i’m predicting this album will grow a bit on you!
Jan 7, 2022
It's kind! With releases like this one we can only be motivated ! @nix @nachitosoria
Jan 7, 2022
To be honest, I'm a big fan of The Weeknd's trilogy, but not absolutely convinced by the After Hours/Dawn FM formula, so I don't think that listening to this album in retrospect will improve my opinion.. This does not detract from the quality of the record and Abel's talent (: @nachitosoria
Jan 7, 2022
that’s completely understandable!

also you should review the trilogy era when you have some time and motivation, that we’ll be amazing.
Jan 7, 2022
you like kiss land too? holy mother of ws
Jan 7, 2022
Yes this is THE underestimated project of The Weeknd! @TomBejoy
Jan 7, 2022
Since you have deactivated the comments, I congratulate you for your review on Dawn FM here , excellent work, I really like all the references especially @TomBejoy
Jan 7, 2022
You are starting strong this year, love this!
Jan 7, 2022
Many thanks ! @colebich
Jan 7, 2022
I would say also that in the trailer the young Able beats to death his older Able as a metaphor of what you've said, not accepting that this is the end of the party. But this album just dropped today so who knows what would happen next and what the layers will hide.
Jan 8, 2022
Yes! Dawn FM shines by its concept, and I think that without it, the album would have suffered from its irregularity, because there are great moments and weaker passages @OvidiuPop

I absolutely understand your reasoning and I agree for the most part, personally I think it's great that he knew how to find a second wind thanks to Synthpop, that's what allowed him to reach the consecration, but on the other hand Dawn FM shows that he should be able to reinvent himself again, because he probably won't be able (but I can be wrong in my speculations) to be as perfect as on After Hours constantly
I'm not saying that he should do it now either, because Dawn FM also follows an artistic logic in relation to what the author wants to do, in the sense of making a kind of thematic continuation of After Hours, it's important to try the bet of making a concept album even if it remains in a certain comfort zone
@giancarlo03
Jan 8, 2022
It's more synthwave then synthpop.
Jan 8, 2022
Thank you!
Jan 8, 2022
If I made this album instead of the weekend it would’ve been better!!!!! Hahahahah
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