The Weeknd explores versatility in “Dawn FM”


Photo via The Weeknd

After the ongoing success of his previous albums, The Weeknd released his fifth album, “Dawn FM” on Jan. 7. The 16-track album strays from dark songs about drugs and partying as The Weeknd explores the R&B genre, making this album a new favorite of mine. 

“Dawn FM” takes listeners on a journey through a contemporary radio station. Including song introductions and commercials, the content was fun and unique. The album starts with upbeat tracks that smoothly transition into powerful ballads, showcasing the masterpiece of the album’s organization. This album shows the Weeknd’s expansion in music type as he explores a new sound that is very different from his previous music.

Track four, “Take My Breath,” was released as a single on Aug. 5. The song had a dark yet peaceful vibe, making it a fan favorite. The soothing sound of his falsetto range mixed with the instrumentals in the back was a perfect combination. The content of the song was daring and caught my attention. The lyrics implied how he has started learning to love pain, showing his unique persona and worldview. I could hear his physical struggle for air. The striding beats make this one of the strongest tracks of the album.

The eighth track, “Here We Go Again,” featuring Tyler, The Creator was filled with raw vocals and a catchy rap near the end. I enjoyed the simplicity of the chorus. Despite its simplicity, it was filled with pleasant harmonies and an interesting tempo. Track No. 5, “Sacrifice,” explores The Weeknd’s feelings regarding a loved one. His sound represents the cycle of paranoia and jealousy he experiences. In this song, he explores the ideas of putting himself first, not seeking approval and not sacrificing himself for others. Track seven, “Out of Time,” illustrates the impact of his traumas on his relationship. The flute instrumental and production contribute to a more upbeat vibe. 

Among my favorites is track 15, “Less than zero.” As he sings, ‘I couldn’t save you from my darkest truth,’ he conveys how he has no hope of being enough. He believes he is not worth anything as a relationship partner. He also discusses his lifestyle and his addictions in the song. Instead of internal conflict and receiving assistance, he says he would rather be free. In this song, he completely lets go, and his vulnerability is evident in his voice. It is a beautiful song with heartbreaking tones. As the last full song of the album, this song represents The Weeknd’s transition from darkness to light. He sounds as if he has found closure in his life and tries to illustrate a sense of freedom.

Overall, I loved hearing The Weeknd’s story of tackling his problems and following a path of self-improvement. The whole album felt like a journey of him finding inner peace and hope. His transition into a more mature genre was nice, and I am excited to see what other different types of sounds he explores in the future.