The Weeknd released his fifth studio album, Dawn FM on Friday (Jan. 7) and many fans were pleasantly surprised with the first major release of 2022, including Timbaland.
The accomplished producer went on Instagram Live on Saturday (Jan. 8) with a mini review of the LP. In a newly surfaced clip, Timbo expressed, “Yo… this album different y’all. This s**t right here, this on some Thriller s**t. Trust me when I tell you. And the way he dropped this s**t, yo. Congrats, this s**t is amazing.” He shared his thoughts as the album’s most-streamed track on Spotify, “Sacrifice” played in the background. It has currently amassed over 10 million streams and counting.
#Timbaland compares the new #TheWeeknd album to Thriller ?? pic.twitter.com/hRM547GeyU
— Respectful Rap (@Respectful_Rap) January 7, 2022
Timbo also described Dawn FM to be “beyond great.” However, once he uttered the notion that it could be on the same level as the best-selling album of all time, not everyone agreed. One Twitter user wrote, “A bunch of sampling on an album mimicking the greatest album ever. Having QJ on it helps sell the idea it’s on that level. The Weeknd knows what he’s doing. But in no way, is this album a Thriller or even close to be on that level EVER!” Quincy Jones, the producer behind the 1982 masterpiece, is also featured on this album with his own track, “A Tale By Quincy.” While another person pointed out, “Timbaland] also said ‘Take Back The Night’ by Justin [Timberlake] was this generation’s ‘Billie Jean’ so….”
Some did agree that “Sacrifice” is sonically similar to “Thriller,” though the single actually samples Denroy Morgan’s “I’ll Do Anything For You,” Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s “Roar,” and Alicia Myers’ “I Want To Thank You.” Amid the criticism regarding Timbaland’s opinion, Shelley FKA DRAM mentioned, “The Weeknd really set the bar for how an exceptional album is supposed to flow from top to bottom. We all should be taking notes, I know I am.” Esquire also labeled this to be The Weeknd’s Prince moment by saying Dawn FM “[is] the best example yet of the 21st Century’s most influential pop star pulling off Prince’s greatest trick—synthesizing a diverse range of sources to create something entirely distinctive.”
The Weeknd really set the bar for how an exceptional album is supposed to flow from top to bottom. We all should be taking notes, I know I am✍?
— SHELLEY fka DRAM (@shelleysaid) January 10, 2022
The truth is both projects can be great on their own without comparison—and are.
Watch the video for Dawn FM‘s lead single, “Sacrifice” below.