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ATRL Reviews: The Weeknd - "Dawn FM"


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The Weeknd - "Dawn FM" - 7.0

 

 

 

 


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The Weeknd - Dawn FM

by @Ace Reject

As most trilogies go, the second part is usually the best. Dawn FM finds The Weeknd in spirits somehow brighter and yet tied closer and closer to the Earth, and to the hereafter. Hoping to find something beyond the earthbound, he creates a radio station that reminds one of the best John Carpenter films. The only thing holding him back, however, is his voice - after a decade in the business, it's somehow less mature and thinner than ever.

 

Score - 7.0

 

12 members of the editorial team participated in this review. Individual scores to follow.

 

 

 

Taylor Swift - "Red (Taylor's Version)" - 7.2

 

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Taylor Swift - Red (Taylor's Version)

by @Juanny

Tragic loss in young romances of years gone by may find itself calm through the passage of time, but the aching crush of a broken heart remains permanently etched into your existence. “Regretting him was like, wishing you never found out that love could be that strong”, Taylor sings on the title track, featuring a more mature timbre and polished vocal quality, as she Begins Again the re-imagined version of her 2012 classic, Red. This album feels familiar: familiar in the breadth and fullness of emotion, deepness, and richness of songwriting. It is also different, as not only is Taylor’s Version of Red padded with music that (in many cases, sinfully and other cases rightfully) didn’t make the cut the first time, but the nuances of production on each song have changed in ways that have fans re-adjusting and re-familiarizing themselves in discovering her music once again. 

Finding itself at the crux of the album is undoubtedly the complete, Antonoff-produced, 10-minute version of All Too Well that, once regarded by fans as pure myth and lore, magnificently lives up to the long-held expectations of its audience. The necessarily long-winded epic interlopes original lyric with “original” lyric, slowly transforming a once blue mourning over her first true love, and painting it with the very red rage, fiery fury, and painful passion that the album is all about, as Taylor proclaims: “you kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath... they say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new hell every time you double-cross my mind”.

Taylor directs subtle, yet clear changes in production that make the songs sound new, yet recapture the magic of the original recordings. Treacherous features a more prominent and commanding chorus percussion, the guitar accompaniment on All Too Well is more somber and quiet as she adds a brilliant bittersweet pensive inflexion to the vocal in the line: "we're sitting in the car, getting lost upstate", and the chorus of 22 sounds cleaner and more compressed. This doesn't go without saying: no amount of reproduction could elevate Stay Stay Stay out of the lowest echelons of pop trash. She manages to stir up the new in a wonderful rendition of her self-written #1 country hit Better Man that was recorded originally by Little Big Town; and while she sounds a little bored toward the end, it no doubt satisfies the fans who have always wanted her version of this track. Her almost eerie anticipation of the “new fresh pop girl” in Nothing New (sun alongside the brilliant Phoebe Bridgers), that seems as if it could have been penned by 31-year-old Taylor herself in the era of Olivia Rodrigo as she notes: “... someone else lights up the room... the kind of radiance you only have at seventeen, she'll know the way and then she’ll say she got the map from me.”   

In Red, Taylor finds herself, a now 31-year-old woman far removed from the melodrama of young love and loss, revisiting a lot of the types of musings that made her the butt of misogynistic pop culture jokes: a crazy girlfriend, serial-dating mess. If the reception is any indication, she has done so with the same grace, attention, and fortitude as the same 20-something-year-old young girl did all those years ago with the mind of a much wiser and grown woman.

Score - 7.2

10 members of the editorial team participated in this review. Individual scores to follow.

 

Adele - "30" - 7.2

 

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Adele - 30

by @Ryan BTE

With ‘30’, Adele subverts expectations for what an album that’s “about divorce, babes” should be.

If you came into Adele's 4th studio album hoping for the soul destroying songs of the past like the anthemic ‘Hello’ or ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, you will be disappointed. See, ‘30’ is about reconciliation with one’s self about a decision made (to divorce her husband) and excavating one’s emotional baggage on the way to her new life. 

In Adele’s subversion, she also loses the “sing-along” anthems of the past for a more restrained, rawer and simplistic approach to lyricism and melodies. Gone is the portrait-painting lyricism that once described her lover of a time when they were young, instead replaced with the more direct “it’s hard to hold onto who I am”.

Production also feels more muted. Though she goes grandiose on the Disney sounding ‘Strangers by Nature’ and ‘Love is a Game’, overall the lack of melodies and booming R&B soul she was known for is missing, and it hurts. That doesn’t mean she didn’t deliver a stellar body of work. She never shines brighter than on the self-reflective ‘To Be Loved’, the scathing ‘Woman Like Me’ and tear jerking ‘My Little Love’.

This album may have helped Adele process the end of her relationship, but babes, what about us?

Score: 7.2


11 members of the editorial team participated in this review. Individual scores to follow.

 

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I’m glad these are back! I haven’t seen something like this on ATRL in a minute 

Spoiler

Also, sis @Ryan BTE Error 520 is giving “Red Light, Green Light” teas because of Adele today :jonny5:

 

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15 minutes ago, ATRL Critic said:

11 members of the editorial team

who are they

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it's honestly 4.5/5 for me :jonny:

 

vocals, production, lyrics served TABS on this particular album

 

Top 3

  1. My Little Love
  2. Woman Like Me
  3. Oh My God
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9/10! Super solid body of work, amazing emotion and personality, I love the sequencing, I love the lyricism, the production is crisp.

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7.2 was generous. :clap3: I abstained from voting, cause my nana told me if I have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.

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Tea. 7/10 seems fair. White lemonade didn’t have the cohesion Beyonce had with lemonade. Other critics doing way too much with it. :deadbanana4:

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4 minutes ago, Reinvention said:

7.2 was generous. :clap3: I abstained from voting, cause my nana told me if I have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.

Sometimes those not nice things need to be said to push artists to leave their comfort zones and not release sappy ballads about cliche rehashed trash. 
 

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It's fantastic record blending what's best of Adele's previous efforts with bold fresh new grounds she was no afraid to explore, her greatest album :clap3:

8.7/10 from me

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4/5 - Highlights: My Little Love, Oh My God and All Night Parking.

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Oh wow, I completely forgot about these. I'd like to write a full review, but let me just try something and keep it brief.

 

Adele's fourth album, 30, is her best album. That's quite a feat, but that's not to say that the album isn't without flaws. There are the obvious flaws like general mistake-of-a-song Can I Get It which could have been left in Flo Rida's collection of songs from 2013 with that stupid whistle chorus. But possibly the most annoying flaws on the album are from songs that are generally quite good. Hold On is a beautiful song with a beautiful finale, but it could have been trimmed down by roughly 2 minutes instead of going on and on to get to the climax. Cry Your Heart Out, a song that I may even consider in my top 3, has fantastic verses and even the last chorus seems to hit the mark, but the vocal effect in the other 3 choruses is just... weird. Even if I get the motown Minnie Mouse 60s reasoning why it's done like that.

 

Let's not stay too negative though. What makes this Adele's best album? It's genuinely raw, emotional, and almost too personal. Highlight My Little Love cuts in voice recordings with Adele and her son to punctuate how much she wants to be happy and how important it is to explain this to her child. Woman Like Me is the Emily King-serve I've been waiting for an MPG to deliver, with its lounge, coffee-shop mellow production but burning lyricism. To Be Loved speaks for itself. 

 

It would be great for Adele to continue to improve her craft in the next record, taking with her the really great parts of this album, but I guess we won't know until it comes out in like 10 years from now. 6.8/10

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8.5/10 for me. 
 

Highlights: Easy On Me, Oh My God, I Drink Wine, Hold On

 

Those giving her 2/10 are trolling.

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  • ATRL Moderator
48 minutes ago, Assassin said:

we know ATRL admins are swifties.

I'm the biggest Swifties on the team, and without my 8.8 this review would be in the 6s...

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Nnn, not Strangers by Nature being described as Disney. :gaycat6:

 

Its more St. Vincent than Disney but whateva :gaycat6:

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