Dua Lipa solidifies herself as a pop princess with ‘Future Nostalgia’

Dua+Lipa+performs+at+a+concert+in+Los+Angeles+in+2018.+

"Dua Lipa 09/28/2018 #5" / Justin Higuchi / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Dua Lipa performs at a concert in Los Angeles in 2018.

She did a full 180, crazy.

When her chart-topping single “New Rules” gained popularity on the radio two years ago, I had pegged singer-songwriter Dua Lipa as one of the many pop singers who would fade away after a couple of years of hopping on trends. 

At the time, there were several YouTube compilation videos that commented on her, little to say, awkward stage-presence. One comment — “I love her lack of energy, go girl give us nothing!” — even became a meme. 

However, the public was correct not to write off Lipa so soon. Although her debut album very much blended into the year it was released, her sophomore release, “Future Nostalgia” has me certain of the hype.

I remember reading and joking about the tweet from Nile Rodgers that compared collaborating with her to working with David Bowie and Madonna, but look who’s laughing now. 

“Future Nostalgia” is the timeless, pure pop that singers take their whole careers to reach. 

It’s utterly fascinating to me that two of the strongest albums of the year were released back-to-back and that they both combine ‘80s influences with modern pop. Maybe being quarantined has rapidly changed my music tastes, but I can’t help thinking that what Lipa has made here is pure magic. 

Lipa is the pop princess that we need right now with all of the quarantine dance-bops to satisfy us for the next month or however long this break is extended. 

UMG 2019

“Don’t Start Now” was released as the lead single from the album on Nov. 1, 2019 before going viral as a sound on TikTok. The infectious chorus has been stuck in my head ever-since; the first time I listened to the song, that catchy bass hit me harder than a disco ball. 

“Don’t show up / Don’t come out / Don’t start caring about me now,” she sings.

Her confidence radiates off of the track and persists in her most recent live performances. 

Title track “Future Nostalgia” starts off the album with its ‘80s sound and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

“I can’t build you up, if you ain’t tough enough / I can’t teach a man how to wear his pants,” she laughs.

My personal favorite track from the album is the dreamy “Levitating.” Like much of the album, it’s a song for the summer, reminiscent of classic pop bangers with the signature sound she has crafted for this album. 

“If you want to run away with me, I know a galaxy / and I can take you for a ride,” she opens the song. 

2020 UMG

According to Apple Music, “Levitating” was the first song she recorded “where [she] really felt [she] had everyone on board with the concept of the album.” It would be challenging to question her creative vision after listening to this track. 

In the pop ballad, “Love Again,” she expresses a groovy declaration of love. The production on this track in particular is stellar, with cinematic strings playing over a soft beat as she discusses her hesitancy to fall in love again. 

“Never have I ever met somebody like you / Used to be afraid of love and what it might do,” she sings. 

However, the album is not restricted solely to romance. The feminist anthem “Boys Will Be Boys” seeks to challenge societal notions of what men and women should ascribe to while criticizing toxic masculinity. 

“Boys will be boys / but girls will be women,” she ends the album on an empowering high-note.

Standing at only 11 tracks, the album is short and sweet. She effortlessly understands what makes classic pop music timeless and explores every aspect of its sound.

Kudos to Lipa for proving me wrong.