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ATRL Reviews: The Weeknd - "Dawn FM"


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On 12/29/2021 at 5:19 PM, Sazare said:

But that’s not “double-crossing her mind.” Maybe his “double-cross” is “crossing her mind” which would make more sense even if it’d still be clunky and on-the-nose, but that’s not what she said. What she said is ultimately word salad.
 

I’m happy you enjoy it, and I too like songs that don’t actually make any sense when given more than a moment’s thought (e.g. “I Want It That Way”) but I also wouldn’t use songs like these as exemplars of lyrical aptitude.

I'm late but I'm also very passionate about this line so w/e. 

On 12/29/2021 at 4:44 PM, Sazare said:

 Is the subject of the song betraying her mind?

That's exactly what's happening, yes. It's essentially boiling the whole song down into a single expression.


All Too Well, in both versions, is Taylor insisting on the validity of her own experiences. 'You may say this meant something different to you, but this is what it meant to me, and I refuse to let you or the memory of you convince me that this wasn't what it was.' If you squint, the original version is pretty much a song about being gaslit. The ten minute version makes it explicitly a song about being gaslit, for better or worse.

 

What makes the song so fascinating is that Taylor, while insisting that her interpretation of the relationship is the correct one, also admits even she can't see it clearly anymore - either as a result of that emotional gaslighting, or a result of her own pain idealising everything about the relationship that wasn't perfect: "I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to." He is double-crossing her mind because every passing thought of him is a betrayal - she can't trust them. Her own memories are deceiving her just like he did, even though she thought she could trust them. If you read the line literally? Maybe it makes no sense, yes. But that's true of most expressions, and even true of the exact ones Taylor is playing off here: you can't literally 'cross' a person's mind, either. But describing a person as double-crossing your mind is a very emotionally astute and succinct way of describing what it feels like to remember someone you loved who emotionally manipulated you. 

 

On 12/29/2021 at 4:44 PM, Sazare said:

The lyrics don’t actually mean anything if you consider them for even a moment—as is so often the case with even her most heralded lyrics, e.g. “break me like a promise”

It's funny you use this lyric as an example of another 'word salad,' because it too is expressing this same thought: when you break a promise, you're betraying someone, and he broke every promise he ever made to her (their relationship being the final one) until he finally broke her too. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Truly a good album, tho it gets a little bit repetitive at some points and the highlights are not even close to Blinding Lights and Save Your Tears. It still feels more like a long interlude for a futuristic movie than an album itself. 

 

7/10 for me to Dawn FM. :biggrin:

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The seemingly perpetual teasing of Dawn FM from The Weeknd throughout 2021 was certainly intriguing. Touted by one person who got to preview the album as his most ambitious project yet, most electronic, and gave additional praise to hype up the album. Generally, the album fulfilled my expectations surrounding the record and based on the amazing After Hours. Speaking of AH, while I can't decide if I like it more than Dawn, the clear differences between the two are Dawn FM has an intensely tight and concise quality of connecting the songs together, both with the overall concept of being in purgatory traffic and with songs being seamlessly sewn together (the transitions between How Do I Make You Love Me and highlight/lead single Take My Breath and between Best Friends and Is There Someone Else, WHEW). 

 

My favorite tracks are Sacrifice, Less Than Zero (the obvious late-single smash in waiting a la Save Your Tears), Take My Breath, and Is There Someone Else. Even songs I didn't care much for upon release, like Don't Break My Heart, have grown on me. My only glaring criticism of the record is the use of the featured artists, not Jim and Quincy since those fit well. I generally don't care for Lil Wayne so I wasn't gonna be super into his verse, but I actually think his verse is the better of the two on the record (it may just be that I like I Heard You're Married so much nn). I like Tyler, but his verse just felt kinda phoned in.

 

Overall, a great record and alleged second album in his newest trilogy. Currently my AOTY, but Utada (and recent listen Molly Nilsson) may claim that spot instead! 8.1/10

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