[Review] Weeknd releases new album packed with creativity


Kim Erlandsen, NRK P3

The Weeknd performs at Oslo Spektrum in 2017.

Taylor Nethery, Staff Writer

The Weeknd released his 10th studio album on Jan. 7. The 16-track album – Dawn FM – is very different from his past work. With smooth transitions from song to song and 1980s sounds and radio station vibes, The Weeknd leaves listeners obsessed with this new era.

The Weeknd’s previous album, After Hours, was released in March of 2020, right as the pandemic started. I remember being so excited for After Hours because of the two singles he released from the album just a few months prior – “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless.” “Blinding Lights” was named the new number one hot 100 song of all time. Expectations were high for his ninth album, and he did not disappoint. He performed at the 2021 Super Bowl in his iconic red suit. After Hours left listeners were left wanting more, but I don’t think anyone expected an album quite like this. 

The single off Dawn FM, “Take My Breath,” was released in August 2021. Then, The Weeknd announced Dawn FM just four days before its release.   I was very excited and curious to see what this album would bring. The album cover shows an older version of himself. There are a few tracks that are mostly dialogue. At the end of a few tracks there’s a “radio host” that speaks. It makes you feel like you’re listening  to a station called 103.5 Dawn FM. 

My personal favorite songs are “Less Than Zero,” “Is There Someone Else,” and “Sacrifice.” The transition from “Best Friends” to “Is There Someone Else” and then to “Starry Eyes” is so clean. All the tracks in this album are so unique compared to his previous songs and I love when an artist can sound so different, but stay so good.