Friday, The Weeknd released his fifth studio album, Dawn FM. He dropped hints about it only days before its release. Many excited fans waited impatiently for the drop, only to find that this album was…different from his other work.
The Weeknd has started to experiment over the years with more techno and house music sounds and this album was a testament to that. The album is full of futuristic sounds that bring to mind thoughts of metal men and flying cars.
While he does have a few impressive features in Tyler, The Creator, and, Jim Carrey Lil Wayne, this is far from The Weeknd’s best work. It’s a far cry from his earlier music and maybe even a far cry from Starboy or After Hours, which were “different” in their own right. The project seems dark in a different way, a kind of darkness that you stare into when the world is in flames and no one knows what’s coming next, so we have no choice but to turn the radio on and be comforted by a familiar voice until we figure out what’s next. It’s not a sound that everyone will love, especially if you’re keen on his older sounds.
Artists evolve and change their sound, that’s natural and something that we have to accept. There has been some speculation that this is a reaction to being snubbed at last year’s Grammy Awards, there has also been speculation that this is his reaction to living in COVID times, something more fantastical and representative of escape, a world that serves the purpose of disappearing from your reality (which we can all use right now).
There are some constants in Dawn FM, though that have been constant across all of his albums and EPs, The Weeknd laments over lost love and a broken heart…as well as mentioning his (apparently) amazing dick. He sings about a girl that he “makes scream like Neve Campbell” (perfect timing with the recent release of Scream. Can someone try it out and let us know if it’s as good as he makes it sound.
Whether you’re a fan of The Weeknd or not, give the album a chance to let your mind wander, after hours are over anyway…welcome to Dawn FM.
Kaitlan Darby | @blackmambacreative