Everyone’s favorite radio station – 103.5 Dawn FM

The Weeknd’s new album is a smashing success, with a mixture of pop and storytelling.


Grammy-award-winning, Super Bowl LV-starring, Canadian musician The Weeknd’s new album Dawn FM is a journey that goes by in a blink but sticks with you for an eternity all the same. In the form of a radio special, this funky space-esque album will please old and new fans alike with its R&B-pop tones and deep poetic narration.

Starting in 2009, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – also known as The Weeknd – has risen to mass recognition and fame across America and Canada for a few specific radio singles such as Blinding Lights, Save Your Tears and You Right. He has received three Grammy awards, 19 Billboard music awards, an Academy Award music nomination and many more.

While incredibly musically renowned, Tesfaye has faced legal issues, been the subject of many allegations regarding his lyrics and has fought substance abuse in his lifetime.

Dawn FM was released Jan. 7 and is his fifth album in his discography. It was released under XO and Republic records. It has 16 tracks and is 51 minutes long, with its longest song being over five minutes and its shortest under two.

In this album there are a few explicit tracks and stars’ voices, such as Tyler the Creator, Lil Wayne, Jim Carrey, Quincy Jones and Josh Safdie.

That doesn’t quite give you an opinion on the songs now, does it? Knowing who it’s by, when it came out, none of this actually tells you about the songs themselves. Well, reader, I have you covered there. Here are some of my most and least favorites from Dawn FM.

Let’s start from the beginning. Introducing this album is one of the shortest songs titled Dawn FM, resting at a minute and a half of vocals and narration that can only be described as funky. For the first minute, the song is full of synths and vocals that are very “futuristic,” led by Tesfaye, but then it leads into a radio show type of monologue, advertising your local radio station and all about what the afterlife will bring you – 103.5 Dawn FM.

Next, I offer you my favorite song on this whole album, the third song, How Do I Make You Love Me? This vocal-heavy song of unrequited love backed by pop-electric instrumentals can’t be described as anything but a jam, leaving listeners dancing to the radio or music in their headphones. This repetitive song is incredibly replayable and has gorgeous lyrics. It is without a doubt my favorite.

My least favorite out of the 16, however, is track eight, Here We Go… Again (ft. Tyler, the Creator). One of the few explicit songs on the album and one of the biggest collaborations artist-wise, it feels rather… boring. It’s a realistic song in this theme of funky space-esque storytelling, but it’s out of place. While I can see how people can enjoy it with its slower, whimsical feel, but to me it feels very unrelatable, irrelevant.

This song also ends with a radio show segment, a steady reoccurrence in this album.

Going back to another one of my favorites is song seven, Out of Time. Another story of unrequited love, this feels very autobiographical about Tesfaye’s self-growth and how time brings change. Easy to catch onto, reminiscent of his older music and just generally gorgeous, this song brings a wonderful, relaxed energy with its soft instrumentals and vocals alike – until the end that is, with another radio show segment that feels both condescending and comforting as the narrator tells us we, the listeners, are out of time.

Finishing this album is a piece called Phantom Regret by Jim, a beat-poetry type of track. Not quite a song, though it does have a gentle swaying backtrack and a steady rhythm. Deep and metaphorical, the listener hears the voice of Jim Carrey and humming from The Weeknd. It tells a story of death and what comes after, in a way I can only call interesting, interesting in the best of ways.

And with that, listeners, our time with everyone’s favorite radio show Dawn FM comes to an end. With stories of love, of lack thereof, of self-growth and poems, these 50 minutes are definitely something to be remembered.

  1. How Do I Make You Love Me?
  2. Out of Time
  3. Less Than Zero
  4. Take My Breath
  5. Don’t Break My Heart
  6. Is There Someone Else?
  7. Phantom Regret by Jim
  8. Dawn FM
  9. Starry Eyes
  10. Tale by Quincy
  11. Gasoline
  12. Every Angel is Terrifying
  13. Best Friends
  14. I Heard You’re Married
  15. Sacrifice
  16. Here We Go… Again