“You got me in love again”
I’m not a dancer. I don’t like to dance, ever. I have no rhythm and I’m incredibly awkward. It’s not a nice sight to see. I may shake it out in the privacy of my own home, but those moments are few and far between. My spins and shakes are subtle, incredibly rare. I only occasionally listen to popular pop music, anyway. Up until now, I remained still and strong. I’m surprised to say my resistance has faded entirely. I used to be very calm and stoic before Future Nostalgia. Thanks to Dua Lipa I am now a dancing machine. I haven’t stopped moving, whirling, or twirling. My days are now spent blaring Don’t Stop Now from my speakers, curating choreography with a full-on Este Haim bass face look going on. This is one of the best records I’ve heard in a long time. It is exactly the album we all need right now, melodies that were missing from our lives. Future Nostalgia is a triumphant celebration of shimmering life, sparkling love, and female independence.
The sophomore return of England’s disco queen should be an essential tutorial for the industry. Dua Lipa has reset the standards, elevating the criteria for current, fashionable chart-toppers. Lipa has written and compiled a list of tunes that are beguiling and ageless. From that signature seventies style to the electric eighties, from the classic nineties to the modern music of today, Future Nostalgia is a flawless amalgamation of different eras and genres. Lipa successfully produced an album with a specific theme and sound, one that keeps a foot in the present while paying homage to the timeless tunes of yesterday. To quote the younger generation, “Every song is a bop.” Although it makes me cringe to write such a statement, the sentiment is true. Catchy melodies and irresistible hooks are Lipa’s forte. Her flair for inventing creative choruses is her super-power.
Future Nostalgia: This title track acts as an introduction for what’s coming next. It’s a warning. “I know you ain’t used to a female alpha.” Incorporating synth strings and a staccato rhythm, Lipa tells you her musical manifesto. She want’s to do something different. She want’s these upcoming tracks to be like nothing you’ve ever heard before. This is going to be a fierce, feminist record and there’s nothing you can do about it. “You want the recipe, but can’t handle my sound.”
Don’t Start Now: I’m just going to put this out there, but Don’t Start Now is one of the greatest contemporary pop songs ever written. Don’t argue with me, you know it’s true.
Cool: With an expanded and sharpened vocal range, Cool pushes Dua Lipa out of her comfort zone. This song is the epitome of a sweet, upbeat slow-jam. It keeps growing on me. I can’t shake it.
Physical: No, this not a cover of the Olivia Newton-John classic, but you’ll love it just the same, if not more. “Let’s get physical!”
Levitating: One of the new phrases people like to use when something is impressively spectacular is, “This ___ is *Chef’s Kiss.*” Well, this song is definitely 💋. It’s quickly becoming my favorite on the record. It needs its own dedicated dance like the Electric Slide or the Hustle. I’m at a loss for words whenever it comes on. It makes me sing and smile. It brightens my day.
Pretty Please: Functioning as a cool down after the intensity of the five previous tracks, Pretty Please appears like a whisper, a confession. “Put my mind at ease, pretty please. I need your hands on me. Sweet relief, pretty please.” The song may be sugared, slow and steady, but I guarantee it will make your heart race.
Hallucinate: Dua describes this as a festival song and I’m going to have to agree. Imagine listening to this electric, modern disco tack with thousands of other people; a crowd of heated, happy souls jumping up and down. Hallucinate is the ideal summertime anthem.
Love Again: Despite its romantic and optimistic lyrics, there’s a bit of sadness to Love Again. A hesitation, a quiver in Dua’s low tones, reveals a disbelief in the surprise connection between two people. The delicate strings add to the melancholy, but the underlying beat boosts the track’s mood. Don’t skip out on this one. It’s a hidden gem.
Break My Heart: The number of times I’ve listened to Break My Heart since its release is way too high of a number to admit to. Trust me, it’s a lot. I love this song so much, I have an overwhelming need to hug Dua and thank her for bringing this song into my life. It is so, so good.
Good In Bed: This one is a cautionary tale about a destructive love, someone you just can’t quit. The refrain is so cool and fun to sing along with. It reminds me of Kate Nash paired with a Kiss With A Fist twist. Two thumbs up.
Boy Will Be Boys: Dua Lipa is calling out male privilege and double standards with honesty, humor, and an angelic children’s choir. Lipa slows things down, wondering why boys are allowed to be rude and reckless, but girls have to grow up, brushing off abusive actions and ignoring harsh words. Boys Will Be Boys is a sincere look into the daily lives and minds of women everywhere. “I’m sure if there’s something that I can’t find the words to say, I know that there will be a man around to save the day. And that was sarcasm, in case you needed it mansplained.”