After a year of the After Hours era and many surprises from Abel in the meantime such as the ’Can’t feel my face’ alternative video and the ’Die for you’ masterpiece of a music video finally being released, The Weeknd decided to hang his bright red suit back up in his wardrobe and tease his fans about a new album; the album he has ’always wanted to make’.
Dawn FM is possibly the most anticipated album of 2022, but no fan was ready for the huge electronic impact the Canadian sensation has displayed across the tracks, along with long awaited collabs (Tyler, The Creator) and pleasantly surprising collabs (Jim Carrey). Because of song titles such as A Tale By Quincy and Phantom Regret By Jim, some fans, whilst intrigued, were afraid The Weeknd had put an Indie Folk twist on his music. In actual fact, the songs blend many genres, including narratives, just like he said he would in an interview regarding his then-future project. “We’ll hear EDM, Hip Hop and three other types of sounds in one song – and somehow we make it work,” were his exact words.
Whilst the meanings behind each song have some sort of reference to Abel’s previous album – what with the short verse in Dawn FM being a reassuring response to the helpless heart-shattering Until I bleed Out – After Hours seems to have a completely different sound to Dawn FM. After Hours most closely resonates with Beauty Behind The Madness in production and sound, yet I’d say Dawn FM has the film-worthy, complex sounds Kissland does and the oxymoronic feelings Starboy generates.
All in all, it is clear that Abel has stayed true to his inspirations who influenced his album and his whole music career. While songs like Out Of Time and Sacrifice and resemble the funk-enfused melodies presented on the timeless 1981 Prince album Controversy, lyrics like I can’t shake this feeling that crawls in my bed, I try to hide it, but I know you know me, but i’d rather be free (Less Than Zero) embody the agonising pain felt on Britney’s Spears infamous heartbreak song Everytime, which The Weeknd revealed on his Apple Music 1 show was a song that inspired his new era.
You can listen to the title track here:
Part 2 of this article is coming this week: an in-depth review and ranking of each song on the album.