The Weeknd’s New Album Co-Stars . . . Jim Carrey?

The Weeknd is stuck in limbo, with nowhere else but his thoughts and a lonely radio soundtracking his memories.



The album cover of The Weeknd’s new album, Dawn FM.

Valentina Radu, Staff Writer

Fans of The Weeknd were blessed with an album that seemed to come out of nowhere on Jan. 7. In a world filled with album rollouts that seem to take ages, Abel seemed to take the opposite approach and dropped the entirety of the album with only a seven day notice. He did not disappoint one bit.

The Weeknd’s fifth studio album, “Dawn FM”, is a journey through a gloomy synth-pop, with influences from the 80s’ including inspiration from artists like: Giorgio Moroder, Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode, R.E.M., and Talking Heads. His intent was to make the album a fantasy of escape, and the album’s songs contribute to the impression of being swept away into another world. Despite the album’s relatively gloomy cover, which depicts how many people feel as they swim through the endless limbo of life controlled by a virus, he is striving for something near hope in the midst of it all.”It’s time to walk into the light and accept your fate with open arms,” the host, voiced by Jim Carrey, declares on the opening track. “Scared? Don’t worry.”

He detailed the album’s theme in a November 2021 interview with Billboard. “Picture the album being like the listener is dead,” he said. “And they’re stuck in this purgatory state, which I always imagined would be like being stuck in traffic waiting to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. And while you’re stuck in traffic, they get a radio station playing in the car, with a radio host guiding you to the light and helping you transition to the other side. So it could feel celebratory, could feel bleak, however, you want to make it feel, but that’s what the Dawn is for me,” said the Weeknd.

Senior Hailey Birdsall said, “How Do I Make You Love?” is definitely one of my favorites. It helps set the tone of “Dawn FM” and has a disco feel to it that builds toward a passionate chorus throughout the album.”

“Dawn FM” was “creatively searching for a way out of the claustrophobic reality of the previous two years,” according to the album’s description on Apple Music. It was created in the midst of the Weeknd’s depression during the pandemic. This is Abel’s second concept of the album, and you can definitely see his vision in it. He does an excellent job of showing the journey from darkness to light, from Jim Carrey’s radio interludes to the commercial ads and the songs themselves.

“Take My Breath,” underlining the Weeknd’s focus on the album as a whole. It is the longest track on the album, but the best. It’s a refreshing pop record, but it also has a nostalgic feel that reminds me of the early 80s’ pop sound,” said Senior Gianmarco Bermejo.

The album also features contributions from Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, Quincy Jones, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jim Carrey, Swedish House Mafia, Max Martin, Calvin Harris, and Uncut Gems co-director Josh Safdie.

Senior Daniel Bashirov said, “Through beautiful tunes, The Weeknd shares how he dealt with personal conflicts that we can learn from.”

Carrey’s regular appearances throughout the album helps to bring it all together. His is the final voice we hear, and he delivers a message that resonates with our current pandemic depression and the reflection we have been experiencing. “God knows life is chaos but he made one thing true: you gotta unwind your mind, train your soul to align and dance till you find that divine boogaloo. In other words: you gotta be in heaven to see heaven. May peace be with you.” “Dawn FM” feels like the first steps on a journey for The Weeknd to find peace and happiness with himself.