The Weeknd — „Dawn FM“ (Jan. 7, 2022)

CANADA emoji                                                                   The Weeknd — „Dawn FM“ (Jan. 7, 2022)
•⇔• Jeho nejnovější, méně zadumané a dekadentnější než obvykle, poskytne však osvěživě lehký a přístupný poslech. No, pokud je to konec Weeknda, jak na jít způsob, jakým se mu poklonit? Abel Tesfaye potvrzuje svůj status absolutního velikána albem ledové nádhery inspirované 80’.
•⇔• Vydání 16~ti skladeb obsahuje spolupráci s Quincy Jonesem, Tylerem, tvůrcem, Lil Waynem, Oneohtrix Point Never a neočekávané vystoupení komika Jima Carreyho, který mezi skladbami působí jako rozhlasový moderátor. Poté, co 3. ledna zveřejnil první upoutávku k projektu, se maník (herec) podělil o své myšlenky o albu. „Včera večer jsem poslouchal Dawn FM se svým dobrým přítelem Abelem @theweeknd [Tesfaye]. Bylo to hluboké a elegantní a tančilo to se mnou po místnosti. Jsem nadšený, že mohu hrát roli v jeho symfonii,“ napsal na Twitteru.
Born: February 16, 1990 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Album release: Jan. 7, 2022
Recorded: 2020~2021
Record Label: XO/Republic/Universal Music
Duration:     51:49
01. Dawn FM   1:36
02. Gasoline   3:32
03. How Do I Make You Love Me?   3:34
04. Take My Breath   5:39
05. Sacrifice   3:09
06. A Tale By Quincy   1:36
07. Out of Time    3:34
08. Here We Go... Again [feat. Tyler, The Creator]   3:30   
09. Best Friends   2:44
10. Is There Someone Else?   3:19
11. Starry Eyes   2:28
12. Every Angel Is Terrifying   2:47
13. Don’t Break My Heart   3:26   
14. I Heard You’re Married [feat. Lil Wayne]   4:24
15. Less Than Zero   3:32
16. Phantom Regret By Jim   3:00The Weeknd [Abel Tesfaye] —©Brian Ziff
Evening Standard    4/5 stars
Exclaim!    9/10
The Guardian    5/5 stars
The Independent    4/5 stars
The Line of Best Fit    8/10
NME    4/5 stars
Paste    8.8/10
Pitchfork    8.0/10
Rolling Stone    4/5 stars
The Times    5/5 stars
The Weeknd — vocals, keyboards, programming (all tracks); bass, drums (4); background vocals (15)
OPN — keyboards, programming (1~3, 7, 10~13, 16)
Jasper Randall — choir arrangement (1, 11, 12)
Angela Parrish — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Anna Davidson — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Bri Holland — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Jessica Rotter — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Joanna Wallfisch — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Katie Hampton — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Rachel Panchal — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Sara Mann — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Sarah Margaret Huff — choir vocals (1, 11, 12)
Jim Carrey — voice (1, 7, 16)
Max Martin — keyboards, programming (2~7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16); bass (4, 15), drums (4); background vocals, guitar (15)
Oscar Holter — keyboards, programming (2~7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16); bass (4, 15), drums (4), guitar (15)
Elvira Anderfjärd — background vocals (4)
David Bukovinszky — cello (4, 11)
Shellback — drums (4)
Magnus Sjölander — percussion (4)
Mattias Bylund — strings (4, 11)
Mattias Johansson — violin (4, 11)
Quincy Jones — voice (6)
Christian Love — background vocals (8)
Benny Bock — keyboards, programming (8)
Brian Kennedy — keyboards, programming (8)
Bruce Johnston — keyboards, programming, vocal arrangement, vocals (8)
Charlie Coffeen — keyboards, programming (8)
Rex Kudo — keyboards, programming (8)
DaHeala — keyboards, programming (9)
Peter Noos Johansson — trombone (11)
Josh Safdie — voice (12)
Calvin Harris — keyboards, programming (14)
By WILL DUKES | JAN. 7, 2022 12:00AM ET | Score: ★★★★  
•⇔• It’s been a few years since The Weeknd went full~on pop star. Early in his career, the Canadian crooner refused to reveal his identity and sang dark songs about sex, drugs, and longing. His seminal 2011 mixtape, House of Balloons, was like the woozy soundtrack to an endless, libidinous loop of willful couch crashing. If it seemed like there wasn’t always confidence behind his debaucherous asides — his bruised tenor favored stops and starts, brutal fits and murmurs, run~on rants — that likely was intentional, part of his overall brilliance. It was almost like he was trying to steel himself for a night of very bad decisions he was about to make over and over again.
•⇔• Since his big~leagues level~up, though, the Weeknd has struggled to maintain some of that brooding authenticity. Fans of his infamous 2012 Trilogy compilation relished in the decadence of their antihero, who sang like he’d slept under the coolest bridge in some seedy city where the predominant existential questions were always, “Wait, where am I? What are we even doing?” Conversely, 2016’s Starboy, for all its blissful highs, began to feel like one bloated, never~ending fashion week runway. Thankfully, on his fifth album, Dawn FM, the Weeknd focuses those interstellar ambitions to anoint us with the most enchanting music to the portal through purgatory.
•⇔• We love our artists fucked up, frankly. There’s something in the deep recesses of self~induced suffering that seems to bring out the best in them. But it’s all fun and games until they wind up a walking self~help aisle. The 16 songs on Dawn FM don’t grapple with the idea of addiction in the way we’ve come to expect from him (none of the addled “glass~table girls” of last decade’s demon time), and infidelities amount to wistful moments of vulnerability as opposed to tortured diatribes. If there’s a self~help vibe here, it’s refreshingly light and accessible — self~help for the selfie set.
•⇔• On “Gasoline,” the Toronto troubadour chants, “I know you won’t let me OD,” in a tone that makes his partner sound like an enlightened seer prepared to guide him on some rustic spiritual retreat. And on “Out of Time,” there’s a touch of solace as he confesses, over shimmering, lush orchestration that recalls Off the Wall~era Michael Jackson, “Say I love you girl, but I’m out of time/Now I can’t keep you from loving him, you made up your mind.” Jackson’s spirit is all over this project. “A Tale By Quincy” finds Quincy Jones himself, in a spoken~word interlude, waxing introspective (”Looking back is a bitch, isn’t it”?), playing right into the themes of success and self~exposure.
•⇔• Narrated by Jim Carrey, who serves as a benign, between~worlds radio announcer, Dawn FM is about boundless freedoms. Like some Casanova Kevin Finnerty, the Weeknd drifts through a surreal plane of existence on the Lil Wayne~assisted “I Heard You’re Married,” ending up with someone else’s wife. But unlike that in~limbo Sopranos alter~ego, the man born Abel Tesfaye is upbeat about impermanence: “Said you wanted your boyfriend jealous with a couple pics/And you didn’t expect to fall for me once you get the dick,” he boasts on this electro~boogie two~step staple.
•⇔• “Every Angel Is Terrifying” is a Vanilla Sky~like monologue about the afterlife, whose utopian jargon (”You will enter a world beyond your imagination/A future out of control”) matches the album’s motifs, even if it ultimately slows down the momentum. But the punchy “Less Than Zero” is a sure~fire hit. Soon to be a mainstay at proms, weddings, and sweet sixteens, the soaring hook gives the co~sign to throwing caution to the wind: “‘Cause I can’t shake this feeling that’s crawling in my bed/I try to hide it but I know you know me/I try to fight it but I’d rather be free.” The Weeknd has quit his old haunts and is all the more lucid. That sense of clarity is deeply rewarding. —
Alexis Petridis | Fri 7 Jan 2022 14.29 GMT | Score: ★★★★★