By Jariah Nash
The Weeknd’s album, Dawn FM, was released January 7th, 2022. Since then the album has debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with 148,000 album-equivalent units, calculated from 173.04 million on-demand streams and 14,000 pure album copies. Even though the album itself has a dark and twisted edge to it, it is also an album that you can dance to and put on repeat over and over again.
The album features contributions from the likes of Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, Quincy Jones, Oneohtrix Point Never, and actor Jim Carrey.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, The Weeknd’s name is a tribute to the time when he and his best friend dropped out of high school at seventeen, took a mattress, and left one weekend, never to return home.
The first song on the album “Dawn FM” gives a feeling like you are listening to the radio station 103.5 Dawn FM, then slowly takes you into the afterlife, with ominous and deathly yet simultaneously hopeful tones.
“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.”
We then go into the second song on the album, “Gasoline.” It is a much more cheerful track about disaster. The song confesses a feeling of detachment from the body: “It don’t mean much to me…” The Weeknd sings.
We usually hear albums from The Weeknd with love songs and happiness, but this album feels like you’re listening to despair and chaos.
The lyrics “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angel’s order?” from the song “Every Angel is Terrifying” is thrilling and has underlying deeper meanings to it. The lyrics expose a harsh truth of reality that everyone at the described party is suffering the effects of its overstimulation.
Throughout the album, the song talks about the feeling of the afterlife and the chaos and disasters that one faces in life. It also talks about the struggles of being in a relationship. Because The Weeknd usually sings about happy relationships, I am glad he is singing about failed relationships and the reality of them because not everything in reality is a fairytale.
The song “Out of Time” is about the realization that he messed up in a relationship in the past. Even though he knows he might be out of time, he still hopes for a second chance: “Gimme one chance, just a little. Baby, I’ll treat you right. And I’ll love you like I should’ve loved you, all the time.”
The outro of Dawn FM goes into heaven: “You’re tuned to Dawn FM. The middle of nowhere on your dial…You gotta be Heaven to see Heaven. May peace be with you.”
From The Weeknd’s first album Echoes of Silence in 2011, it is easy to tell he was fairly new to the industry. Considering his most famous albums, Starboy and After Hours, which in my personal opinion are his best albums, Dawn FM was still very new and refreshing to hear coming from The Weeknd.
Because we are usually used to hearing The Weeknd singing about love, I think people were surprised to hear something different coming from him. As his tour begins, I can’t wait to hear what else he has to offer this year.