What You Need To Know - January 28, 2022

The Weeknd’s Dawn FM: What You Need To Know
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

The Weeknd’s Dawn FM: What You Need To Know

A little less than two years on from the release of The Weeknd’s acclaimed fourth album After Hours, Abel Tesfaye returned in the first week of January with the digital release of his fifth full-length effort, Dawn FM.

This week the album arrives in physical form as the CD edition drops into stores on Friday (January 28), with a vinyl release to follow April. Here’s everything you need to know…

A little background…

Tesfaye began working on new material almost immediately after the release of his fourth album After Hours, which arrived in March 2020 just as the world was beginning to enter the first of several lockdowns. Although initially working on songs inspired by the resulting isolation, it was later revealed that Tesfaye had scrapped his initial ideas for the album as he found the process ‘emotionally detrimental’.

He then began working on tracks for what became Dawn FM, a selection of more upbeat tracks inspired by new wave, funk and EDM. Lead single ‘Take My Breath’ arrived in August last year, with an announcement of the new album’s title and release date arriving in January.


Who’s producing it?

The Weeknd serves as one of three ‘executive producers’ on the album along with Max Martin and OPN, in addition to long list of contributors on the new album that also includes Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, DaHeala and Oscar Holter, to name a few.


Any special guests?

Just a couple in terms of performers, with Tyler, the Creator appearing on ‘Here We Go… Again’ and Lil’ Wayne popping up on ‘I Heard You’re Married’, although there are also spoken-word contributions from Quincy Jones, Josh Safdie and Jim Carrey.


What does it sound like?

There have always been shades of 80s synth pop to much of The Weeknd’s, but that really comes to the fore on Dawn FM, especially on tracks like ‘Gasoline’, ‘Take My Breath’ and ‘How Do I Make You Love Me’, but there are also R&B flavours to songs like ‘Out of Time’, whose nod to Michael Jackson’s more mellow side is preceded by a monologue from Jackson’s long-time producer Quincy Jones.

There are plenty of smooth slow-jams tucked away at the back end of the album too, ‘Best Friends’ and ‘Is There Someone Else’ being cases in point, as well the celestial power ballad ‘Starry Eyes’.


Does it deliver?

The fact that Dawn FM has already broken streaming records should tell you everything you need to know on that front. The Weeknd continues to be one of the best at delivering a certain type of slick danceable pop and even if none of its tracks quite scale the heights of something like ‘Blinding Lights’, Dawn FM still proves a worthy follow-up to After Hours and one with plenty of enjoyable moments.



Dawn FM is avalaible in hmv stores now - you can also find it here in our online store.

Dawn FM
Dawn FM The Weeknd

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