Understanding ‘Dawn FM,’ album by The Weeknd
Abel Tesfaye’s fifth album is considered the most thoughtful, melodic, and revealing project of his career, all revolving around a pop radio station known as “Dawn FM.”
If Dawn FM stays on track, it’ll join The Weeknd’s previous leaders Beauty Behind The Madness ( 2015) and After Hours (2020). The Weeknd has suggested that his new album Dawn FM is part of “a new trilogy.” Many fans are speculating that a third album is in the pipeline, and is likely to be called ‘After Life’. The Weeknd previously combined three mixtapes, ‘House Of Balloons’, ‘Thursday’ and ‘Echoes Of Silence,’ into the compilation album ‘Trilogy’ in 2011.
“‘Dawn FM’ feels like the first steps on a journey for The Weeknd to find peace with himself; perhaps next time we hear from him, he’ll be fully embracing the light of day,” said Rhian Daly in a four-star review on NME.
Abel has not made much uplifting, inspiring, daytime optimistic music, but from its production and atmosphere to vocals and songwriting, Dawn FM completely goes against that. Some believe that this was not meant to be a continuation of the darkness and pain from his previous album, After Hours, but it seems as if Abel wants to find peace and heal. He wants to heal because on After Hours he felt as if his life in Los Angeles was smothering him and he could not live peacefully, which is understandable from someone who grew up in Canada. This project is seen as the first jab at an uplifting type of album.
Dawn FM can be described as an “80’s pop” or techno dance. The vibe of the album can be seen as dreamy and melodic as well. Jim Carrey, an American actor, plays a large role in the album as far as the radio station theme goes. He is on three songs where he speaks as a radio host and reads a poem on “Records Closer.” This poem talks about self-acceptance and moving on from past mistakes. He also discusses inner peace, something The Weeknd is aiming to obtain. Many see it as a comprehensive message considering Carrey’s past and everything that he has been through. He has channeled his trauma and emotion into the poem he read, making this one of the most meaningful and unique parts of the project.
Overall, this project is a story about Abel moving from feelings of isolation and sorrow that defined his old albums, into a theme of a radio station traveling through time with the use of imagery of life and death to symbolize letting go of your struggles.