ALBUM REVIEW: Dua Lipa // Future Nostalgia

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Recommended Tracks: Future Nostalgia, Don’t Start Now, Boys Will Be Boys
Artists You May Like:  Ava Max, Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara

We all know that Dua Lipa does not mess around when it comes to her heart.  She is someone who embraces love with all of her being, and is ready to create a fierce break-up track when things go wrong. All of this is evident on her debut album, but Dua is ready to play by some “new rules” on her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia.  Emotions are higher, feelings are deeper, and the music has never been so expressive.

The album boldly begins with title track, “Future Nostalgia.”  It is sassy and strong, with Dua taking playful jabs at those who do not see her as a threat.  She sings, “No matter what you do, I’m gonna get it without ya / I know you ain’t used to a female alpha.”  The syncopated verses, spunky keyboard chords, and synth effects compliment the “future nostalgia” theme, as they make the track sound old and new at the same time; you can tell that this is going to be a fun album.

Love can definitely be fun, and a couple of tracks that showcase this idea are “Levitating” and “Hallucinate.”  Both tracks show the diversity on this album, and build on the idea of future nostalgia. When you listen to “Levitating,” you feel as if you are defying gravity, which is precisely the point.  Dua takes us on a journey through space and time; the lyrics make countless references to outer space, and the music is reminiscent of an 80s jam that you would hear at the disco.  If your love is not making you levitate, then “Hallucinate” might be more your speed.  The two tracks are similar in energy, and both describe how crazy love can make you feel.  However, “Hallucinate” is a little more modern – we have moved from the disco to a club from the 90s or early 2000s.

There are moments when love can be overwhelming, though, and you have to look out for yourself.  On “Break My Heart,” Dua touches on how scary it is to be in a relationship that feels “right.”  She finds herself asking, “Am I falling in love with the one that could break my heart?”  But, if they do break your heart, you can turn to “Don’t Start Now.”  This is the self-empowering track, the track that will get you motivated and out of your funk.  If someone breaks it off with you, then that is their problem.  Like Dua says, “If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody / If you wanna believe that anything could stop me / Don’t show up, don’t come out.”

Of course, we cannot help the way that love makes us feel, and we are all capable of feeling love – literally.  Several tracks on Future Nostalgia explore the notion of being a little “PG-13” with your partner, beginning with “Pretty Please.”  This track is a little more downtempo and sultry, and focuses on the essence of intimacy.  It sounds more from our current time period, but by the time you get to the end, you feel as if you have listened to another retro bop.  Towards the end of the album, we encounter “Good In Bed,” which is not as self-explanatory as you may think.  It explores the highs and the lows of a relationship, and why this kind of a relationship is not ideal; Dua mimics these highs and lows in the way that the vocal lines snake up and down in the verses.  This track is quite a unique addition to the album.

The album closes with “Boys Will Be Boys,” which exploits the expectations of women in society.  This is a strong moment on Future Nostalgia, and a strong moment for Dua.  Why is it that “boys will be boys, but girls will be women?”  It really makes you think about some of the low-key things that women need to do to get by in society, and why these things need to change.

In general, Future Nostalgia is a daring sophomore album.  From the messages relayed in each track to the musical production, nothing is indirect or understated.  Each track just gets better and better; it is hard to pick a favorite.  The musical samples and “decorations” that are featured convey the “futuristic” sounds heard on tracks from the 80s and 90s, fostering the “future nostalgia” narrative.  Dua Lipa is still an edgy pop princess, but now she can add “daring disco queen” to her résumé.

You can listen to Future Nostalgia on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

Keep up with Dua Lipa:  Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Website

 

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