Dawn FM: The surprise album of 2022


Presley Plant

Dawn FM was release on Jan. 7th 2022. Since then it has sold 144,000 units and counting.

“Dawn FM,” is the Weeknd’s surprise release album announced only days before its release; this is the Weeknd’s fifth studio album and latest album since 2020. The album was released right after The Weeknd released the single, “Moth to a Flame,” which was not included on the track list. The album has a total of 16 tracks including two interludes.

 “Dawn FM” has many big names in the industry who worked on it, including two features on “Here We Go… Again” featuring Tyler, the Creator, along with “I Heard You’re Married,” featuring Lil Wayne. Along with these two renowned artists, Quincy Jones, a jazz and R&B artist, and Oneohtrix Point Never, a DJ and producer, were also featured on the album. 

This album is not only experimental in the way the music sounds, but also in that it is not a traditional Weeknd album. Many of the songs are more beat focused and synthesized, which many hip hop artists don’t traditionally go for. 

The album starts off with its first track, “Dawn FM,” the introduction of the album which sets the mood for the other songs. This song introduces that we, as listeners, are actually listening to a radio as the host introduces us to “103.5 Dawn FM.” These little snippets of the radio host, voiced by famous actor and comedian Jim Carrey, give the whole album an eerie feeling as if you are being sucked in by his voice. The first track also reveals the main story of the album as you are being guided through death. “You’ve been in the dark for way too long, It’s time to walk into the light. And accept your fate with open arms.” 

The first interlude of the album, “A Tale by Quincy,” challenges many difficult subjects including mental illness and losing a parent at a young age. Quincy Jones shares a story from his childhood about how his mother was taken from his home in front of him and put in a mental facility. He also shares that later in life, not having a motherly figure in his life made him subconsciously distance himself from all of his partners. Along with this Jones also shares how that affected his relationships with his kids and how he raised them. 

“Take My Breath,” one of the Weeknd’s most popular songs, is also on the album. Although it isn’t the original version, but a remix, the core of the song still stays true to the original. Additionally it is the only reused song on the entire album.

The transitions this album uses are so seamless that you cannot even notice them unless you’re looking at it as it switches. The two main transitions in this album are in between “How Do I Make You Love Me?” and “Take My Breath.” Additionally there are more transitions between the sequence of songs from “Best Friends” down to “Starry Eyes.” 

The album then ends with “Phantom Regret by Jim,” Jim being Jim Carrey himself. This last conclusion to the album is you reflecting on your life as it comes to its conclusion, any regrets or unspoken words you may have left behind, making peace with who you were and who you are about to become. It leaves you with a feeling of relief, but also eeriness just as his other messages have. 

The main hits on this album were: “Less Than Zero” with 12 million streams, “Sacrifice” with 22 million streams, “Gasoline” with 15 million streams, and “Out of Time” with 15 million streams.  Although this was one of the Weeknds’s more experimental albums, it still delivered, all the way from the 80’s sounding music and composition, to the lyrics and story. This album was an amazing way for the music industry to start off 2022.