After making her debut in 2017, Dua Lipa has released her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia. This album, for me, is further implementing her status as a force to be reckoned with in the pop industry.
Despite only being 24, Lipa managed to seamlessly combine 80s pop with 70s disco music all into an 11 track album. Although the music draws inspiration from past decades, it still feels like a breath of fresh air from the average pop music being released now.
Ever since Lipa released her lead single from the album, Don’t Start Now, the contrast in her artistry from her first album to now was clear as ever.
“Did a full 180,” Lipa belted on the lead track. She proved herself right by utilizing her amazing lower vocal register to project a more powerful vocal tone. On top of this, she also displayed a much more confident stage presence than ever before in all her live performances of the song.
Lipa’s first album was great as well, but it was easy to tell that the music in it was from an artist still figuring out their sound. Along with that, most tracks from it didn’t offer the same level of uniqueness as her most recent release.
Now with Future Nostalgia, Lipa discovered her sound with track-after-track of feel-good songs to enjoy. For me, none of them sounded like anything else being played on pop radio stations right now.
Her second lead single released, Physical, is the most 80s inspired track on the album and instantly became the fan-favorite. It contained an intense beat and vocals and only grew stronger as the song went on. It drew comparisons to Bonnie Tyler’s iconic 1983 hit, Holding Out For a Hero, explaining why it’s so loved.
There’s a theme of empowerment in the album that can be mostly heard in the fun title track, Future Nostalgia. “I can’t teach a man how to wear his pants,” Lipa playfully sang during the bridge of the song followed by a laugh.
The fifth track, Levitating, is a personal favorite. Lipa related to falling in love with someone to exploring a new galaxy. The joyful track instantly makes listeners feel like they’re at a 70s nightclub throughout the entire duration.
Lipa made the most out of hard times and released her work when other artists have typically been postponing their reveals. Instead of postponing her album drop, she stuck with her release date. Since then, she’s been doing virtual promotion.
The singer made an appearance on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram live talk show, Bright Minded, and discussed her thought process behind releasing the album now.
“Although it’s scary to put a record out right now, I also feel like maybe music is kind of what we need and it’s good to just get people to dance and have fun,” said Lipa.
So far, the only major changes made for Future Nostalgia promotion have been Lipa’s musical performance on Saturday Night Live being canceled, along with her tour dates being postponed. Lipa, in return, has made numerous virtual appearances on talk shows by performing songs on the album from her living room.
She’s also been more active on social media to promote it, which has already been a primary source for music promotion, pandemic or not. After putting out the fourth single, Break My Heart, fans quickly started to make quarantine-related memes from the chorus lyric of the track, “I should’ve stayed at home,” which Lipa started reposting without missing a beat.
This album is escapism at its finest, especially during a time when everyone deserves to give themselves a break and let loose (from home). Future Nostalgia is a step in the right direction for pop. Lipa has officially found her look and sound by creating a body of work that every fan of hers will instantly get nostalgic from after hearing any of the tracks in the near or far future.
Self-isolation dance parties have never sounded better.
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