Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Ushering in a new throwback disco era, Dua Lipa bats away the infamous sophomore album curse with powerful dance-pop package Future Nostalgia. The Brit Award winner may not have been around in the 80s, but, now comfortably past her days as a music industry newcomer, she confidently reinvents enough groovy disco vibes to transform any living room into a feel-good dance floor. Influences from other female divas over the decades are evident, but self-professed “female alpha” Lipa proves she is a pop force to be reckoned with.
This is “what now looks like”, we’re told. And it’s something we can start to believe. The commitment to a cohesive, upbeat sound across the ten non-stop tracks is a bold move. No ballads, no fillers, just effortless dancing between tracks. There are disco strings, electro-beats and synths, even cowbells. The production value is fun and surprisingly consistent, with special attention to detail in texture that works well with the singer’s distinctive alto voice. It may not be original in genre, but it oozes style.
Already-released hits will be a familiar chart-friendly sound; the funky, pulsing Don’t Start Now, heavy bass track Break My Heart and overly-80s Physical are also album highlights. Cool has vibes of Katy Perry and tongue-in-cheek Good in Bed is redolent of Lily Allen, whereas Love Again is an impressive production and the space-boogie Levitating is a fun love letter you can bop along to. Each track carries its own sub-influence and personality and yet entirely complements the whole. Packed full of attitude, the album even features some half-rapped verses – it may take a bit of getting used to, but it certainly levels up the sass on show. Lyrically, it’s more catchy than complex, but there’s the exception of Boys Will Be Boys, as an empowered Lipa becomes the voice of women around the world, tackling the serious topic of misogyny with lyrics such as “If you’re offended by this song, you’re clearly doing something wrong.” Deliberately unsubtle, it’s the closest thing Future Nostalgia offers to a ballad and a fittingly bold finale.
The British-Kosovan singer nails the Future Nostalgia brief, somehow balancing retro samples with fresh remixes, breathing new life into a familiar sound; at-home escapism ready to burst onto dance floors when that day arrives. Songs may need a second or third listen before becoming more distinct, and who knows if they will eventually stand the test of time, but for now, this is what now sounds like.
Future Nostalgia is released on 27th March 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Dua Lipa’s website here.
Watch the video for Break My Heart here: