Dawn FM by The Weeknd was an utter waste of 52 minutes



The cover art for The Weeknd’s newest album, Dawn FM.

I am a firm believer that songs should not have busy backgrounds.

Lyrics to a song are what detailing is to a dress. While it isn’t necessary, it adds more depth and takes the listener into the mind of the writer. But if a big Sharpie-highlighter orange bow is slapped onto a gray detailed dress, the detailing is lost. The bow distracts greatly from the original intent. 

The same type of deal goes for the majority of the songs on The Weeknd’s album Dawn FM.

“Gasoline” is a prime example of this. There was a sound in the background that I, with my music knowledge coming from a flute stint in sixth grade, identified as drums. I immediately thought to myself, ‘I don’t like this, I’m overwhelmed and distracted.’ I could barely pay attention to any of the lyrics due to the rest of the song. All I remember is something about being lit on fire with gasoline and someone watching The Weeknd sleep and him enjoying it. 

In addition to simply background noise, The Weeknd’s voice perplexed me. He started out singing in a deeper voice that I wouldn’t have identified as him, had it not been that he was the only singer on “Gasoline.” I also noticed some odd voice effects that I think may be featured on TikTok’s voice effects. The echo shouting of some lyrics throughout the song was also very off-putting and highly unenjoyable. 

All I remember is something about being lit on fire with gasoline and someone watching The Weeknd sleep and him enjoying it. 

Continuing the odd choice of background music, when “How Do I Make You Love Me?” came on, I thought someone must have been playing Mario Kart. The beat was techno and reminded me of the Electrodome track’s soundtrack in Mario Kart 8. I started picturing myself playing the game to the song’s beat. 

The middle of “How Do I Make You Love Me?” utterly flummoxed me. I checked my phone to see the song’s name since it slowed down and started a new beat and music. To my surprise, the song still had over a minute left. On top of the new, overwhelming music, The Weeknd started breathing into the microphone as a beat. I was ready to bang my head against the wall—I was so frustrated. I absolutely despise the sound of breathing into my ear. 

As much as I hated the breathing, I was astounded by the transition it made into the next song. The beat was the same as the beat of “Take My Breath.” The breathing into my ear ceasing was the only sign of a new song beginning. So yes, the song literally did take his breath. 

“Take My Breath” was the most appealing song on Dawn FM. The lyrics of the song ran from my left ear to my right. It felt like a toned-down version of panning which makes voices sound like they’re coming from different directions and never fails to leave me happy. While it may have been the best song on the album, in my opinion, it seemed too long and was used to fill time.

Most of the songs on Dawn FM were mediocre at best, with many ranging incredibly lower. 

I grew frustrated with the concept of the album as I listened more.

The album is set up as if it is a radio station. Jim Carrey pops in to tell the listener about the station a few times throughout the 16 songs. I was originally perplexed when I heard a recognizable voice telling me about a radio station that I knew I wasn’t listening to. I admire The Weeknd’s dedication to his concept though. “Every Angel is Terrifying” is basically a commercial. In concept, I enjoyed this idea; in reality, I wish the radio idea wasn’t so used. 

I spent 52 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back listening to Dawn FM and it was, in no way, worth it.