Dua Lipa’s highly-anticipated album Future Nostalgia was released on March 27! Dua Lipa decided to release her sophomore album a week earlier than expected to help ease the tension of social-distancing for her fans.
Lipa did not fail to expand the genre of disco-pop into the new era. Her classic hit “Don’t Start Now” started an exposure of movement across the dance floor that continued in her album. A widespread growth is shown in Future Nostalgia. Here’s our track by track review.
Thank you to all friends old and new, to love, happiness and keeping an open heart. WELCOME TO #FutureNostalgia 🔐🌕💛 out now on all streaming services!!!!!!https://t.co/4n2EIZS1w2 pic.twitter.com/hU03F7owZR
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) March 27, 2020
Future Nostalgia – 4.5/5
“Future Nostalgia” as an opening track differs from her debut album and other pop albums as it’s neither delicate or obnoxious; it’s simply dynamic. The track introduces a new wave of sound that influences the pace of the album. The production of “Future Nostalgia” blends various sounds produced by a synthesizer, drum machine and keyboards to create a futuristic appeal. As the audio production is neoteric, the lyrics are empowering as Dua’s voice is assertive. The message is clear: women are the future. The lyric “I know you ain’t used to a female alpha” clearly states the movement towards the future. Dua’s first promotional song for the album is a grower. At first, the rhythm is overpowering the song, but Dua’s unique voice came through. Not to mention, the whispers of the lyric “Future Nostalgia” enhance the listeners into another world.
Don’t Start Now – 5/5
The lead single of the album changed the game. The disco banger launched a rhythmic movement through dominant instruments such as the violins and cowbells. Yet, the movement did not stop there. Lipa’s vocals shined after the chorus. The energy transferred into the lyrics where Lipa became a new person after a break-up. Though, certain lyrics like “Don’t show up / Don’t come out / Walk away you know-how” made a quarantine hit for social distancing. Dua Lipa could have not chosen a better song to start a new era. “Don’t Start Now” instantly became one of my favorites. The 80s influenced anthem created an innovative remark on the dancefloor.
Cool – 5/5
The third track of the album is so cool ~ literally. The synth-pop track relies on a synthesizer, guitar, drums and a touch of snaps throughout the song. What’s so cool about the song is that Lipa is growing as a singer and songwriter. She decided to experiment with her voice for a much softer, angelic effect. Her vocals shift to her lyrics as they hold a certain expression for the word cool. Lyrics such as “Got me losin’ all my cool /’Cause I’m burnin’ up on you” proclaim Lipa’s choice of diction. Frankly, “Cool” is a summer hit waiting to happen.
Physical – 5/5
The second official single pays homage to Olivia Newton’s 1981 hit “Physical.” Yet, Lipa’s version is fast-paced. The track begins slow to reminisce about the love Lipa is experiencing. The excitement leads up to the classic lyric, “Let’s get physical.” Lipa and her lover have a type of love that is out of this world in the lyrics, “Love is a simulation we’re dreaming in.” The track is heavily influenced by the 80s synth-pop beat, but the violins pick up the pace. The chorus (post-bridge) embarks the true core of the song as Lipa extends her vocals with claps. The song did not get a chance to shine like “Don’t Start Now,” but “Physical” has a role of success in the album.
Levitating – 5/5
“Levitating” is her best song from the album in my opinion! The track is so energetic and the lyrics are fun and bubbly. Lipa found many words relating to space to include in the song. Words like moonlight, starlight, milky way and many more became catchy lyrics to dance to. The production of the album is astonishing by the force of the instruments overlapping. “Levitating” is the type of song where anyone can let loose from all the problems in their life.
Pretty Please – 5/5
“Pretty Please” begins with a simple beat to maintain the sultry yet innocent vibe. Lipa’s voice changes into a whisper in the pre-chorus to build up the tension and atmosphere of the song. The transition to the lyric “Put my mind at ease” to Lipa’s assurance for the sensual feeling is so smooth. The track is a refresher from the dynamics Lipa illustrated at the beginning of the album. It’s not overlaid with multiple beats at once, but it’s not a ballad either.
Hallucinate – 5/5
“Hallucinate” is the younger sister of “Levitating.” The track begins in a subtle beat that elevates into Dua Lipa’s raspy voice describing her feelings to her love. Her vocal range expands into an angelic harmony when Lipa sings “Hallucinate.” The beat does not drop, it continues to the chorus. Frankly, the chorus overpowers the song with Dua’s raspy vocals which is the best part. The track is easy to dance to upon any occasion.
Love Again – 5/5
The violins sway the listeners into a delicate tune until the bow against the strings transitions to a sharp tune. Lyrically, “Love Again” shows a personal perspective from Lipa’s heart about love. Despite having a broken heart, Lipa sees the light of love in various ways. It can be heard through her voice as she is singing “I never thought I’d hear my heartbeat so loud/I can’t believe there’s something left in my chest anymore/Oh, goddamn, you got me in love again.” The track is a casual disco song to fall in love with from the composition of the violins, to Lipa’s background vocals. “Love Again” is one of my favorite songs from the album.
Break My Heart – 5/5
The third single of the album is bound to make headlines with the disco-pop anthem. “Break My Heart” begins with a heavy verse of guitar that is later heard in the chorus. The beat is a sample from INXI’s “Need You Tonight.” Yet, Lipa and her team made the tune modern to follow her voice in the chorus. After the sample tune, the beat breaks through for a dance floor feeling. The lyrics are simple and relatable for every audience.
Good In Bed – 4/5
The tenth track of Future Nostalgia is not the best song, but the rhythm is amazing to hear. The song relies on the same tune of the keyboards throughout the track, however, the tune of the keyboards is innocent for the sultry lyrics. The snaps heard on the pre-chorus build up to repetitive lyrics in the chorus. Overall, the song does not belong to the album. It belongs to the scraps from her debut album that were not released.
Boys Will Be Boys – 5/5
The closing track is a call for action. Lipa explores topics that many women face in their daily lives from sexual harassment to mansplaining. “Boys Will Be Boys” holds a clear, strong message backed by a harmonic choir, the violins, the piano and a subtle set of drums. The lyrics of the song are important, but “Boys will be boys / But, girls will be women” hits home for many listeners and myself.
Overall Rating – 5/5
Future Nostalgia is pure pop perfection. The album electrifies a new wave of disco for the new decade while holding a nostalgia for synth pop. Dua Lipa continued to hold an open discussion for social norms and gender equality through her music. Her sophomore album redefined a classic pop album. Anthems such as “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Levitating” and “Love Again” hold a bold standard for the new generation to preach and follow. Even though the album did not feature ballads, the album does not need it.
Future Nostalgia put Dua Lipa in her biggest breakthrough, landing as one of the major pop stars in today’s world. Lipa has shown nothing can hurt her style of music as she is growing as an artist.
Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia is available at all streaming services.
Featured Image via Dua Lipa and photographed by Huge Comte.