Poignant and Powerful: A Review of Dawn FM


Last month, The Weeknd broke the Billboard Global 200 Record for most entries in a single week for a solo male performer with his latest album release, Dawn FM. 

The album was released January 7th of this year. 

Dawn FM and its synth-heavy sound, much like After Hours (his previous album), has made a modern generation nostalgic for the music of the 80s. Although the album is filled with upbeat melodies, it holds a darker, introspective tone as it guides the listener through the afterlife– which happens to be narrated by the one and only, Jim Carrey himself. As alluded to in the title, The Weeknd has crafted an experience that is reminiscent of flipping through an alternative radio station late at night. The opening and title track, “Dawn FM,” carried by Carrey’s spoken intro, sets this motif into action. Carrey, in his distinct voice, hauntingly narrates, saying, “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.”

It is expected for Abel, the singer whose stage name is the Weeknd, to sing about his own self-destruction as his past music, especially his album Beauty Behind the Darkness, delves into his drug addiction. The second song “Gasoline” describes his descent into addiction as he asks his lover to not let him overdose and to accept his death. Its chorus is my favorite part of the song as The Weeknd sings:

“And if I finally die in peace

 Just wrap my body in these sheets

 And pour out the gasoline.

 It don’t mean much to me.”

Other favorites include “Less Than Zero,” “Sacrifice,” a dance song in which The Weeknd sings about not wanting to “fix himself” for the sake of love, and “Out of Time,” which samples Tomoko Aran’s 80s Japanese city pop song “Midnight Pretenders.” The lyrics that battle the realization of destroying one’s own relationships in these songs juxtapose their bouncy, catchy backtracks. 

Another sub-theme of the album is fidelity (or lack thereof). The album slows down for Dawn FM’s tenth track, “Is There Someone Else?” in which The Weeknd questions his lover’s commitment. “I Heard You’re Married,” featuring Lil Wayne, is about being romantically involved with a married woman. And in “Here We Go…Again,” Tyler the Creator repeatedly belts “You ‘gon sign this prenup,” after The Weeknd sings about being a romantic nihilist.

Dawn FM  is rounded with a poem written and recited by Jim Carrey, “Phantom Regret,” urging listeners to self-reflect on their life and find inner peace. The poem offers a sense of closure to the journey that is, Dawn FM. 

I highly recommend that readers give the album a listen for its incredible songs and lyricism to transport into another time and space, or perhaps, the afterlife.