Opening with the lyrics “You want a timeless song, I wanna change the game”, Dua Lipa could not have been clearer in what she wants to achieve with her sophomore album. Being ambitious, fun and characterised by disco, Future Nostalgia solidifies why Lipa is one of the biggest names in music right now.
“Don’t Start Now” is a lead single that needs no introduction. One of the biggest hits of 2020, this timeless bop skyrocketed to the top of every chart and was a staple on every radio station. Singing how she “did a full 180”, this disco strings and cowbells ladened track is, indeed, a complete departure sonically from her previous album.
“Physical” is instantly reminiscent of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 smash hit of the same name. Lively beats and a powerful chorus (that got stuck in my head) make this track pulsate with vibrancy, overflowing with the nostalgia that Lipa aims to convey on this album.
Lipa also takes flight in “Levitating”, the fan favourite track that is made for the dance floor. In it, explosive synths, backup shouts and claps as well as playful galactic-themed lyrics (“The milky way, we’re renegading”) all come together to create pure pop perfection.
Nestled in between bangers, “Pretty Please” offers a moment for listeners to catch their breath. Employing a sultry tone, this ode towards pleading her lover to stay exudes sexiness and allure. “Love Again”, a classic romantic pop-ballad also manages to mask melancholy underneath gorgeous string sections.
As the topic of feminism continues to make waves on social media, Lipa also wastes no opportunity to end the project on an empowering note with “Boys Will Be Boys”. With candid lyrics going “Boys will be, boys will be boys / But girls will be women”, she is unapologetic in calling out the double standards that women face in today’s society.
With throwbacks to 70s and 80s disco, Future Nostalgia has managed to bring the club to our rooms amidst this pandemic. The record is a cohesive medium of work that manages to capture nostalgic sounds while simultaneously dishing out modern statements. Lipa has truly succeeded in her mission to revitalise disco-pop and boasts every right to call herself a “female alpha” (as she deems on the title track) in the industry.