Dawn FM? More Like NPR.


Source: Variety

Ben Kane

Now on all streaming platforms. Released on Jan. 7. 

Produced by Abel Tesfaye, Swedish House Mafia, Max Martin

Rating: 2.5/5

The Weeknd’s newest album, Dawn FM, was released on Jan. 7, and boy was it boring.

Now, the album itself isn’t terrible, but the fact that such a lackluster piece of work is coming from The Weeknd just knocks it down a peg.

Dawn FM gives major Post Malone vibes. The beats are very similar to how his music is constructed. If Malone had created it, it genuinely could’ve been one of his better albums. Still, because of The Weeknd’s sheer vocal ability, the album is just missing something.

Just about every album has that one major song in the middle that completely defines its success. But, unfortunately, for this album, that defining song never came. A song would end, and rather than build off of what just happened, the lyrical and vocal flatline kept progressing. The only place this album really shines is with its rhythm.

While The Weeknd is most famous for his incredible tracks and smooth vocals, it still wouldn’t be one of his albums without his signature vocal belting. Unfortunately, however, the only time this was seen on this new album was at the end of “Sacrifices,” and even that wasn’t a very good song. 

The Weeknd sometimes has a tendency to change his tone of voice while singing. For example, at the beginning of “Sacrifices,” he almost has a British accent, which is just weird. This happens again in the second song of the album, “Gasoline.” Except for this time, he adopts the voice of almost a mad scientist. To be frank, The Weeknd sounds like the singer of the “Monster Mash.” In an album that’s supposed to be a radio show, it just doesn’t fit the vibe.

So the vocals are off, but what about the features? The Weeknd invited two people to sing/rap on this album: Lil Wayne and Tyler the Creator. Lil Wayne’s verses are just ok and nothing more. There is so little to say about his contribution. Tyler the Creator’s, on the other hand, makes no sense. Tyler is one of the most vocally aggressive rappers in today’s day and age. So when you combine him with The Weeknd, one of the calmest singers, it just doesn’t blend well. 

There are still some positives to take from this album. First off, the beats are incredible. Every track builds off itself and the next and gives the singer the opportunity for a key change… but he never takes it. The listener is just screaming at him to take the opportunities he provides himself.

The other thing this album does really well is ordering and transitioning into tracks. Listening to this album on shuffle would not be an enjoyable experience. However, by listening to it in order, it changes the experience.

The best transition comes between “How Do I Make You Love Me” and the second version of “Take My Breath.” (The first version was a single that was about a minute shorter and didn’t have as many breaks between verses for instrumental breaks.) At the end of “How Do I Make You Love Me,” The Weeknd slowly starts taking deep breaths on top of the beat he used during the song, and after a bit, it transitions into the beat of “Take My Breath.” It’s a fantastic transition that’s just one of many on the album, and without looking at a phone, it would be hard to realize that the song had switched.

All in all, this was probably the worst of the Weeknd’s albums. Unfortunately, he couldn’t build off the success of his last album, After Hours, and will have some work to do to get back to where he once was.