A reigning pop princess
If you’ve jammed out to Top 40s or pop radio stations over the last few years, then you’ve certainly heard of English singer-songwriter, Dua Lipa. Her self-titled debut album captured the hearts of many across the globe back in 2017 and helped her reach mainstream success. In the US, she had quite a few songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Before her fame, Lipa had dreamed of being a singer and in order to make ends meet, she found a job modeling for the UK brand, ASOS. Eventually, she signed with a management company that helped launch her music career. Now, Dua Lipa is one of pop music’s biggest artists and has just released her infectious second album, Future Nostalgia.
Future Nostalgia opens on its namesake and the song happens to be the second single off the album, too. The song has rap-like verses that bring out a bit of Lipa’s natural accent and the words are etched with her famous wit. While the song as a whole is a bit different than that of her first album, the dance-pop beat and lyrics are very much her style.
“Don’t Start Now” is the lead single off the project and is quite deserving of that status. The track skyrocketed to the top of the charts upon its release and even it made it to the #1 spot in the US. We hear classic Dua Lipa essence throughout the song with her sultry voice, uniquely empowering lyrics and a catchy chorus that will be stuck in your head for days on end. While the song does seem reminiscent of her first album, it’s a slightly more elevated sound. As she grows in the industry, so does her sound.
On a song like “Cool,” we hear that interesting fusion of futuristic electronic pop with a hint of an old school ’80s beats that the phrase “future nostalgia” seems to epitomize. The track is a little more laid back than her popular songs, yet it still has the elements of an unforgettable beat in the chorus and lyrics like, “got me losin’ all my cool/ ’cause I’m burnin’ up on you/ in control of what I do/ and I love the way you move/ we got the heat and the thrill/ ’cause you’re more than any pill/ never runnin’ out of juice/ when it’s only me and you.” More of that futuristic sound can be heard in the third single off the album, “Physical,” whose upbeat melody and bright colored music video seem like they have been ripped straight from the ’80s. However, the track that feeds the most into the electronic galactic theme is “Levitating” with peculiar lyrics like “If you wanna run away with me, I know a galaxy/ and I can take you for a ride,” and, “I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight/ I need you all night come on, dance with me / I’m levitating.”
While Lipa tends to have a slightly sharp or stormy tone in her songs, “Love Again” showcases her soft side, with a pretty string section mixed with classic pop-ballad feeling and romantic lyrics like, “show me that heaven’s right here, baby/ touch me, so I know I’m not crazy/ never have I ever met somebody like you/ used to be afraid of love and what it might do/ but goddamn, you got me in love again.”
Lipa ends the project on a high, empowering note with track “Boys Will Be Boys.” The song explains the fears and misogyny ingrained in women’s minds from an early age. In an age where feminism is entering a new wave, it’s songs like this that mark the awakening currently happening in society. With a chorus that echoes, “boys will be boys but girls will be women,” this song is sure to become an anthem for feminists everywhere.
Future Nostalgia is an example of well-balanced pop with songs that make you want to dance and songs that make you want to feel. Dua Lipa’s first album was great, but her sophomore album is even better. Heartbreak, power and love all sung with pleasantly deep vocals and fun beats make for perfect pop music. Even though “no skip” albums are practically nonexistent these days, Lipa sure breaks the mold with this project. She definitely deserves the status of one of pop’s current elites.