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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Life + Arts

‘Dawn FM’ showcases The Weeknd’s new sound

Dawn FM

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The Weeknd returned to the music scene with an exciting new album “Dawn FM”, increasing his discography to now eight albums.

“Dawn FM” blended the sound of his seventh album “After Hours” along with his fifth “Beauty in the Madness” with some hints of his “Starboy” flair creating a new sound altogether. 

The first track starts off with the album’s title “Dawn FM” which eases listeners into the forthcoming songs ending with an ominous radio host that tries to comfort listeners, but ultimately makes them uneasy. 

“Dawn FM” is by far The Weeknd’s most experimental album, heavily influenced by 80s pop. The album showcased many features such as actor Jim Carrey who was the voice of the faux radio host in the first track. 

The Weeknd clearly took his time to ensure that the album was not just a collection of many tracks but a cohesive body of work that successfully conveys a well-rounded artistic narrative. 

Upon first listening, the album was fun and had many tracks that made it compelling to sing or dance along with. 

But like much of The Weeknd’s work his lyrics hold a deeper meaning below the surface. Using the radio station skits, the “The Hills” singer guides listeners through what seems to be a journey to the afterlife. 

There are references to ‘going into the light’ in track one and then in track 12 the radio host said “Critics say ‘After Life’ makes your current life look like a snooze fest.” 

Throughout the album he depicts that the afterlife does not mean the death of one’s soul, but rather a transcendence into a more free way of being; The Weeknd conveyed this through fluctuating and driven beats. 

The album touches on many eerie and daunting concepts such as death and loneliness that are made out to be less intimidating to listeners through the use of contrastingly upbeat and catchy melodies. 

The fanbase was starkly divided, with one side longing for his original sound that brought him immense commercial success and the other side praising him for making a deeply personal, honest and experimental body of art. 

Critics however are less divided, awarding the singer with overwhelmingly positive feedback for his refreshing new sound and giving him props for exploring himself instead of only adhering to mainstream demands and expectations.

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