What’s Left for the Weeknd to Conquer?

Following the Weeknd’s 2020 album, “After Hours,” which included the global hit “Blinding Lights,” it may have seemed as if he had nowhere else to go — that he’d finally reached the summit of the mountain he’d spent the decade climbing, starting out as a freaky recalibrator of R&B and ending up making unifying 1980s-style hits that need no translation.

His new album, “Dawn FM,” suggests at least one future direction: leaning in on specific sections and subgenres of that decade and exploring ways to supersize the niche.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about making big tent pop in an age of the micro, and just how few options truly remain for the biggest mainstream pop star’s next moves.