Dawn FM

Band: The Weeknd
Album: Dawn FM
Best song: “Out of Time” and “Gasoline” are excellent.
Worst song: “Less Than Zero” is just OK.

I kinda hate how much I like the Weeknd.

Right before the pandemic really started, After Hours blew up the world and he performed at the Super Bowl. He was in this somewhat confusing but probably very stupid performance art-adjacent public thing wherein he lamented the superficiality of the music business and was doing videos in which he had plastic surgery or was bandaged or whatever. Whenever I try to figure it out, I roll my eyes so hard that you can hear them.

But, man. I love his music so much. There is no one who does party music like he does and his deftness with genre-hopping cannot be matched. After Hours – for all of its flaws – fitting for his visual aesthetic; it was reminiscent of a series of big city club nights and the roller coaster of emotions that come along with it.

Dawn FM’s concept is too cute by half again. This time, the concept album revolves around a radio station that someone is listening to as they die. The nightfall/dawn concept is death/heaven. It’s decidedly stupid, but the music is decidedly amazing. “Take My Breath” is the kind of disco track that’s largely been forgotten in the music scene, while “Sacrifice” is a driving dance track that rivals the funkiest late 70s tracks of a similar genre. But, as much as he can do dance tracks (and, oddly enough, isn’t that good a dancer), The Weeknd really can croon. “Out of Time” is a beautiful slow jam that highlights the intimacy of his voice as it sets against the windy production. “Gasoline” shows off the best production on the record set against his voice’s different intonations.

The interludes are silly and mostly forgettable, but the record is great. After it was released, it became the album I would put on whenever I needed to do some writing and get some scripts worked out. It’s great for working out, it’s great for driving. Just don’t think about it too much.

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  • About Me

    I'm Ross Jordan Gianfortune. I am not a writer, but I sometimes write here about music and my life. I live in Washington, DC.

    I used to review each of Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time. Now I'm writing about albums I own.

    My work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Gazette, The Atlantic, Sno-Cone and a bunch of defunct zines.

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