sat 30/05/2020

Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Lipa frees her inner disco diva, and the world is a better place for it

'The sound of a musician finding their own voice and revelling in it'

Dua Lipa's self-titled debut was unmistakably the sound of a musician feeling their way. It had all the flavours of trap, tropical house, autotune and Lana Del Ray-ish triphop introspection you'd expect on a 2017 pop record.

Dua Lipa's self-titled debut was unmistakably the sound of a musician feeling their way. It had all the flavours of trap, tropical house, autotune and Lana Del Ray-ish triphop introspection you'd expect on a 2017 pop record. The multi-billion-stream single “New Rules” was the most transatlantic-sounding thing there, and it must have been tempting to try and repeat its success by following current generic templates.

Thankfully, though, that isn't the way Lipa has gone. Perhaps the success of her features on Calvin Harris's “One Dance” and Silk City's “Electricity” helped encouraged her to free her inner disco diva, but whatever it is, this album shines with a singular vision. Gone are any American affectations, and her androgynous and very English voice shines through.

The single “Don't Start” was, of course, a masterpiece, but there's plenty more here. Though there are diversions into Amy Winehouse vaudeville (“Good in Bed”), Sia-type bombast (the closing “Boys Will be Boys” a surprisingly unflinching feminist anthem) and Billy Idol/Pat Benatar 80s power pop (“Physical”), there's an underlying sound of post-Daft Punk disco and p-funk – swooping strings, live bass and all – sprinkled across the whole thing like glitterball light. It's not retro, though, more a homing in on essential pop values.

And from the starting title track, rapping Neneh Cherry-style about mid-century architect John Lautner, to the end, Lipa's voice is all her own and the lyrics – by turns gauche, saucy and urgently sincere – have a consistent personality throughout. Those lyrics, too, have a distinct Britishness: “My love is like a rocket won't you blast off / I feel so alive I'll dance my arse off / and even if I wanted to I can't stop...” (in “Levitating”), for example, sounds like an attempt at a Tinie Tempah lyric that just falls short, and is all the more endearing for it. This album is the sound of a musician finding their own voice and revelling in it, and it is completely glorious.

@joemuggs

Watch "Don't Start Now":

There's an underlying sound of post-Daft Punk disco and p-funk sprinkled across the whole thing like glitterball light

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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