The Weeknd’s Dawn FM – Cinematic Masterpiece (Review)


On January 7th, the world was treated to the first big album release of the year, with Abel Testfaye, aka The Weeknd releasing his 5th studio album Dawn FM. It sold 150k first week and debuted #1 on the Billboard 200. The pop icon released 16 new tracks, while still captivating audiences with the 80s synth style he had on his last project After Hours. Dawn takes a more psychedelic approach from After Hours. It’s listening experience is like that of a radio station staged in the afterlife, hosted by the voice of acting legend Jim Carrey. He speaks on the album 4 times, delivering a haunting message in the spoken-word outro “Phantom Regret”. Here’s the tracklist down below:

  1. Dawn FM
  2. Gasoline
  3. How Do I Make You Love Me?
  4. Take My Breath (Extended)
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Tale By Quincy
  7. Out Of Time
  8. Here We Go… Again ft. Tyler, The Creator
  9. Best Friends
  10. Is There Someone Else?
  11. Starry Eyes
  12. Every Angel Is Terrifying
  13. Don’t Break My Heart
  14. I Heard You’re Married ft. Lil Wayne
  15. Less Than Zero
  16. Phantom Regret by Jim

Alternate World Tracks (released January 12th)

  1. Take My Breath (Remix) ft. Agents Of Time
  2. Sacrifice (Remix) ft. Swedish House Mafia
  3. Moth To A Flame with Swedish House Mafia

The storyline of Dawn FM is seemingly an evolution of the character from his character in After Hours. After going through a lifestyle full of drugs, partying, and recklessness, the character dies in the outro track “Until I Bleed Out” and is brought into the afterlife on the title track of Dawn FM with a willingness to change. It’s a beautiful transition from the dark to the light, and it represents Abel’s early career transforming into his current life. Through this story, he describes themes of wanting to find love, self reflection, and hope for the future.

Highlight tracks: 

Out Of Time: This track is one of the most 80s-inspired songs on here, truly giving Michael Jackson vibes and a very strong vocal performance from Abel. The outro from Jim Carrey really encapsulates the radio station concept.

Is There Someone Else: This song is a big turning point on the album, as it shows the Weeknd’s desire for a long-term relationship. At the same time, it’s a very enticing song sonically. The vocal sample really adds to the production. Brenden Fischer (10), said “this was my favorite track on the album because it was very catchy and doesn’t get old for me.”

Less Than Zero: This was definitely my favorite track on the album. It perfectly wraps up the album as the second to last track, while still leaving some loose ends for the planned third album in the trilogy. He really experiments with new production and much more soulful singing on this song, and it was really enjoyable.


Track ranking:

  1. Less Than Zero
  2. Is There Someone Else?
  3. Out Of Time
  4. Gasoline
  5. How Do I Make You Love Me?
  6. Don’t Break My Heart
  7. I Heard You’re Married ft. Lil Wayne
  8. Take My Breath (Extended)
  9. Sacrifice
  10. Here We Go… Again ft. Tyler, The Creator
  11. Dawn FM
  12. Every Angel Is Terrifying
  13. Starry Eyes
  14. Best Friends
  15. Phantom Regret by Jim
  16. Tale by Quincy

Rating: 9/10