When I heard that Dua Lipa was putting out a new album last night, I had no response to that news. Her Self-titled project did nothing for me; it was a bland and basic pop debut. It wasn’t terrible for a debut project, but I forgot about Dua Lipa. The album just sounded like everything else at the time. But on her second album, “Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa flips the switch, setting herself in stone as a name to be known in pop. A strong nu-disco, dance-pop record with influences of funk, house, and R&B. With electrifying vibes and lyrical themes of empowerment, equality and emancipation. The hype was felt in Fall 2019 with the debut of the lead (second track on this album), “Don’t Start Now” is a blend of multiple genres including the aforementioned genre pop, as well as Eurodance. The record has some powerhouse producers all over it. Jeff Bhasker, who has won Grammy Awards for the songs “Run This Town” by Jay-Z, “All of the Lights” by Kanye West, “We Are Young” by Fun, and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson. Stuart Price was also a producer of this album and is known for his work with artists including Madonna, The Killers, New Order, Kylie Minogue, Missy Elliott, Pet Shop Boys, and Gwen Stefani.
It opens with its title track, with the sounds of electro pop-funk that are influenced by Prince’s Batman soundtrack. It’s about empowerment and confidence and feels like Dua Lipa is giving a Ted Talk on why she’s extraordinary on the “talk-singing” verses. I’m glad Dua Lipa’s silvery textured voice shines through here, a cliche critique, but I’m happy it’s not a manufactured voice.”Pretty Please” is a stripped-back and seductive slow burner. The bass is super emphasized and leads the song triumphantly. “Levitating” is a disco song reminiscent of some of The Spice Girls’ best hits. The song features an elastic bass-line, and the verse’s cadence is so catchy it’s going to stick to your ears like glue.
“Good in Bed” is a cheeky track with some jaunty piano chords and nice funk-pop feel. Lipa said it’s about “When good sex is the only thing that was holding two people together.” A track I could see Lily Allen putting out in the early 2000s. It’s a track with a great sense of humor that you will love to see. I didn’t enjoy the musicality of the album’s last track, the thematic pop Ballad called “Boys Will Boys.” It is worth listening to Lipa’s direct lyrics about double standards and sexual harassment. Also, it contains a direct message aimed at stalkers and men who harass women for no reason. This is a significant change of pace for the last track on her breakthrough record.
The artists and sounds that shaped Dua Lipa can be heard all over this, but she refused to let her strong influences take over this project. On this record her voice is heard loud and clear. “Future Nostalgia” is a perfect name for this album; she pulls from the past, but this album is a new pop declaration. “Future Nostalgia” is the future of pop. The genre infusion is helping pop become the most innovative genre and leaving everyone in its dust. We see artists like Rina Sawayama and Poppy putting metal/nu-metal into their sound. I now consider myself a Dua Lipa fan, and I think you will be too after one listen to this record.