Lifestyle & Culture

‘Future Nostalgia’ – Dua Lipa (Album Review)

Sleek, futuristic, and fresh – the perfect combo to describe what lies within the tracks of ‘Future Nostalgia’. Charlotte Lloyd reviews the latest album by Dua Lipa.

Quickly being named one of the best albums of 2020 so far, Dua Lipa’s sophomore record, ‘Future Nostalgia,’ is hitting us right in the feels of all those relationship, lovey-dovey vibes. Also being ranked highly in one of the most discussed albums of 2020, Dua Lipa is breaking away from her first album and showing us a much more mature side to her songwriting that we have never experienced from her before. A far cry from her ‘One Kiss’ single with Calvin Harris, Lipa is being ranked closely with Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’ album, and all I can say is that I am thoroughly impressed.

‘Future Nostalgia,’ is a much riskier record than that of her freshman album, ‘Dua Lipa,’ due to the latter’s success and I for one had no idea what to expect. By this only being her second album, for me at least, I didn’t really know her overall mood and what it was going to sound like. I also think listening and seeking out an album is quite an apprehensive feeling. Something I put off extensively.

In three words, this album is sleek, futuristic (hence the name), and fresh. The film clips, as well as the music, have outer-space elements and nods towards a new modern. Think ‘Back to the Future Part 2’ but a 2020 new and improved version. The entire album is a sort of closing of Lipa’s past experiences and chapters in her life, and looking towards the future. Having a nostalgic feeling while looking forward. This album, I will say as a disclaimer, is definitely more sound-based, where the vocals help the sound rather than the other way round. It is highly techno-dance based and almost all the songs are ones that you can visualise dancing to in a club, or in a living room, wherever you release your inner karaoke spirit.

While this album does focus a lot on past relationships and the realities of being in a relationship itself, there are small signs of female empowerment, with a few songs reaching out to the female community.  And while this album can be seen to be directed at this market, others should not shy away. This album, if not both of her albums, are applicable to everyone and does not apply to only one demographic. Looking towards ‘old school’ music for inspiration, Lipa drew off artists such as Prince, old Gwen Stefani, OutKast, and No Doubt as a sole influence to the tracks and the overall 90’s vibe they hold. This album is chaotic and fresh, to say the least. It is an overall clash of sounds but in the best way possible.

One of the most popular tracks is Track 2, ‘Don’t Start Now’. This was released as a single in 2019. I can distinctly remember being out with my friends and wondering what this song was that kept playing. It is such a jam. It was released as a ‘disco-influenced’ introduction to Lipa’s new chapter. Made with the same team who produced ‘New Rules,’Don’t Start Now,’ had a lot of pressure but is ultimately a song that distinguishes itself as very vulnerable under the seemingly blunt execution of the lyrics and meaning. I would say this is one of the songs on the album with the least amount of dance-techno feeling and this could be why it was released as a single pre the album release. You can watch the ‘Don’t Start Now’ music video here.

The other tracks on the album are incredibly complimenting to Lipa’s vocals, having the beat, sound, bass and at times sound effects to really bring the futuristic feeling to life. The album as a whole is very catchy and after just one listen to a track, you are immediately going to be able to recite the lyrics. Memories are a big part of what makes up the lyrics. Similar to Selena Gomez in her new releases ‘Look at her now,’ and ‘Lose you to love me,’ Dua Lipa is creating an album dedicated to her former times with her partner but, at the same time, accepting that this is it and it’s time to move on. I’m sure you can agree that this is highly relatable to a lot of us. Female empowerment also comes to the forefront in a couple of her songs. Lipa forces us to face the reality of being a woman in today’s society, preaching; “Boys will be boys but girls will be women”.

I’m sure you can agree that Dua Lipa has now become a pop music favourite and ‘Future Nostalgia’ is an album that should be listened to on repeat for as long as humanly possible. In all seriousness though, ‘Future Nostalgia’ is available on all streaming sites already, and if you don’t want to listen to all the songs but want a feel for her music, some of my faves of the album are ‘Future Nostalgia,’ ‘Don’t Start Now,’ ‘Good in bed,’ and ‘Boys will be Boys’. Whether handpicking some tracks or downloading the whole record, ‘Future Nostalgia’ cements that Dua Lipa is an artist that we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Image source: © Drew Litowitz – Pitchfork, no changes made

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