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REVIEW: Standout tracks on The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM”

REVIEW: Standout tracks on The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM” - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The Weeknd performing July 2018 by Nicolas Padovani, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

12 days into 2022, we already have a contender for album of the year with The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM.”

Since the release of his fifth studio album, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, has had the internet buzzing with excitement.

Fans have had opinions of their favorite aspects of the record, such as some of the jaw-dropping lyrics, transitions from one song to the next and fan theories about what is to come in this new era.

The dance synth-pop record shows the influences of ’80s pop stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince.

The Weeknd brings us on an adventure throughout this album with the voices of Jim Carrey, who serves as the fictional DJ radio host of “103.5 Dawn FM” and an interlude by the iconic Quincy Jones, who details how his childhood trauma shaped his relationships as he got older.

“Dawn FM” is an experimental and nostalgic pop record with a modernized twist.

Abel Tesfaye, the Weeknd, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

By the end of the album, you either danced for 16 songs or cried for 16 songs.
If you have not had a chance to listen, these four tracks are ones that stood out to me.


The jumpy beat and bouncy vocals on this track heavily recalls the familiar ‘80s sound.

The Weeknd’s ability to build up the anticipation of his vocals from the first verse to the chorus showcases his talent in full form.

“I don’t wanna sacrifice for your love, I try”

“I don’t wanna sacrifice for your love, but I love my time”

Then, towards the end of the track, he comes in with a bridge that no one expected but was angelic to the ears.

“Oh, baby
I hope you know that I, I tried”

“Oh baby
I hope you know I love my time, oh”

This song is the epitome of an ‘80’s club scene, more specifically like the scene in the movie
“Scarface” where Tony Montana meets Elvira Hancock on the dance floor.

Out of Time:

This track shows hopelessness in realizing you should’ve loved someone before it was too late, ironically being “out of time.”

“Say I love you, girl, but I’m out of time,

Say I’m there for you, but I’m out of time,

Say that I’ll care for you, but I’m out of time,

Said I’m too late to make you mine, out of time”

The sampled instrumental sets the perfect mood for a song that paints heartache, especially since the second verse is The Weeknd calling out for his second chance if his ex’s new boyfriend messes up.

“If he mess up just a little,

Baby, you know my line,

If you don’t trust him a little,

Then come right back girl”

Is There Someone Else?:

Again, the use of a beautiful soul sample that plays during the intro and outro of the track makes you feel the hurt that comes with finding yourself in a love triangle.

If there is one thing that The Weeknd does well, it’s his ability to master the perfect chorus.

“Oh, is there someone else or not?

Cause I wanna keep you close

I don’t wanna lose my spot”

In his second verse, he is trying to reassure his ex-girlfriend he has changed for the better, while also claiming that he wants to be with her forever.

“I swear I changed my ways for the better, the better,

Cause I wanna be with you forever, forever”

The theme of this album feels as if he is trying to repair the things that he has messed up.

The idea of things being too late to repair or his fear of his significant other finding someone else is written throughout the album.

Less than Zero:

This track wonderfully depicts his inability to get out of his head.

He struggles to express the demons he faces to someone he loves while accepting that they tried their best to help him.

“You tried your best with me, I know,

I couldn’t face you with my darkest truth of all”

These lyrics are painted over a very energetic drum pattern and a very subtle guitar in the beginning but there are moments throughout the record where synth keys serve as the build-up towards the chorus, which honestly is genius.

“Cause I can’t get out of my head,

No, I can’t shake this feeling that crawls in my bed”

This song is one where he breaks free of the demons that have been haunting him, while also being the last track on the rollercoaster ride of this album.

Find time to listen to “Dawn FM” — you won’t be disappointed but you might end up in your feelings.

About the Author

Raul Trey Lopez
Raul Trey Lopez is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He is a first-generation college student. In his spare time, he likes listening to music. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in journalism while also maintaining his family flooring business.

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