The Weeknd’s new and bold “Dawn FM”: a review


Tiffany Kye

On January 7, 2022, the Weeknd kick-started the new year with the release of Dawn FM: a 16-track album that features a futuristic retro-pop style and incorporates narratives with a sci-fi twist. 

“At first, I thought Dawn FM was mediocre, maybe even bad, compared to the Weeknd’s previous albums, but it got better as I got to the later portion of the album,” said senior Hayden Chang, “overall, I enjoyed the album because the songs have unique beats and are great mood boosters.”

Like Chang, many Weeknd fans long for the familiar style he used in previous works such as After Hours and Starboy. Meanwhile, others commend him for branching out into new styles.

Dawn FM has a completely different vibe compared to his previous albums,” said senior Lindsey Yang, “I liked how he took a futuristic approach to this album – it’s formatted like a radio, with each song representing a different story as if they were broadcasting.”

Aside from musical styles and melodies, another essential component of any music album is its album cover. Characterized primarily by color, typography, and imagery, album covers serve as attention grabbers that provide a bit of contextualization for the contained pieces. In the Dawn FM album cover, the Weeknd used dark shades of blue and grey, and portrayed an older version of himself through wrinkles and white hair.

“I think the album cover of Dawn FM displays a lot of his messages regarding the past and the future, because it shows the Weeknd growing old,” said Martinez.

Another necessity of any music album is its consistent portrayal of the album’s theme, as well as the message it conveys to listeners.

“The message I took away from this album was to not make any regrets in life,” said Martinez. “Dawn FM‘s theme serves as a reminder that the past is in the past, and that you should only move forward.”