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    12 Jan 2022

    The Weeknd’s Dawn FM Is A Joyride Back To Scrunchies And Neon-Coloured Clothing Featured

    Well, that wasn’t as bad as I expected it would be. While everyone continues to dissect the lyrical content of Canadian songwriter and singer The Weeknd’s fifth studio album release, a little controversy has erupted (Angelina Jolie, is that you?). 

    Nonetheless, many have been waiting by bated breath since the album announcement for the new music Dawn FM had to offer. His further immersion into 80s electronic synth-pop, breaks and chord progressions is apparent and stands as the driving force on the album. Although thankfully, The Weeknd steps away from his usual themes of desperation, darkness, hopelessness and ODing, this round isn’t as burdensome, annoying and nerve-wracking as some of his previous work. It was such an old and tired narrative. So, lead us to the light, Abel! Dare we say this is a breath of fresh air? It’s enlightening to even think about the prospect.

    Even though his unsteady falsetto will always prevail, I can appreciate the sonic grooves of Dawn FM. It’s a joyride back to scrunchies, Final Net and blinding neon-coloured clothing. Listening to Canada’s comedic genius Jim Carrey guide us through as the resident disc jockey on the fictional radio station 103.5 Dawn FM is satisfying and comforting, yet odd. Meaning, out of left field odd. But on “Phantom Regret,” Carrey drops a few cerebral gems written by The Weeknd that would have health and wellness coaches shedding a tear:

    When you weren’t liked or followed, how did you behave?

    Was it often a dissonant chord you were strumming?

    Were you ever in tune with the song life was humming?

    We would be remiss if we left out the Prince mentions. Listen in for them. They’re not hard to find. In an out-of-place, yet make it fit the vibe, there’s Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston coupled with Tyler, the Creator on “Here We Go…Again,” and if “Gasoline” is The Weeknd’s only deep foray into drug parlay, then it’s doable. With The Weeknd’s baritone, a la Depeche Mode lead, Dave Ghan, the track leads you into the production team’s immersive and notable creative world behind the scenes— thank you, Max Martin, Oneohtrix Point Never and Swedish House Mafia. It’s infectious and serves as an impressive precursor to what you can expect throughout the album. Of course, critics are foaming at the mouth to mention The Weeknd’s likeness to Michael Jackson, where I’m more comfortable in saying it’s MJ’s influence that we hear on “Out of Time” and “Sacrifice.” And who better to drop some personal knowledge proceeding the song on matriarchal love and how it can affect your relationships in life than Mr. Quincy Jones himself.   

    I’m not sure how to explain the album cover, but this is my interpretation: The Weeknd once stated how he would like to leave the persona created behind and move on. So, the cover would be a moment in time of the elderly version of himself—tired and beaten down from those wild, chaotic nights of melancholy, pain and overindulging. The Weeknd’s trip to the 80s new wave era is a dream for those who love the likes of Platinum Blonde, Depeche Mode and Dragonette. There’s no doubt that any singles released from Dawn FM will climb the charts and highjack radio countdowns for a time to come. 

    It’s still funny to me that in one of the interludes, 103.5 Dawn FM is touted as ‘the radio station of real soul’ when this album is eons away from the description. However, I’ll give Abel kudos for finally giving me an album I didn’t mind listening to. 

    Read 75 times Last modified on Sunday, 16 January 2022 07:41
    (2 votes)
    Ann Marie Collymore

    Montreal-born Ann Marie “amc” Collymore is a veteran independent culture and entertainment writer and blogger with more than 19 years of experience writing for various print and online publications. Bylines include Today's Parent, Revolt TV, Centric TV/VH1 Networks, Bustle.com and many more. You’re bound to find Ann Marie taking in a show or networking in a city near you. Follow her on socials: @soulafrodisiac

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