An off the cuff reaction to Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia”
There’s going to be more pop fans flooding our socials with some of the live streams we have planned. So, that’s good motivation for me to get lit to some recent pop releases I’ve been slacking on.
One such release is Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia. Shoot, if there was one phrase that described a feeling I’m constantly chasing in music, it might be that album title! I want to experience sounds I know and love but woven together in a fresh way. The title track is certainly all of that and more. Today was a pretty crappy day, for no reason other than I spent a good portion of it reading the latest COVID-19 reports and wondering if I was going to go to the hospital suffocating in mucus. While I recommend you find someone to cast your cares upon in this period and do your best not to worry, this song is pretty good first step to getting distracted.
“Don’t Start Now” is even more infectious than the title track. I have hope for modern pop like I haven’t had in a long while. Dua Lipa is a slightly more accessible Charli XCX—no shade at Charli. She’s brilliant. And really, accessibility shouldn’t imply the quality of the music, or lack thereof.
In “Cool,” the lyric “Keep it goin til we see the sunlight” could be a mantra of the Covid era. The whole world might be closed, but the party doesn’t have to stop. We can be distant but social. Of course, this song isn’t really about overcoming adversity—it’s a sensual bop. Though, I’m sure Lipa would enjoy us using this song as an anthem of resilience.
Only 5 tracks into the record, I can surmise that the theme of the record is to remain carefree in spite of any circumstances. The themes therein aren’t new. But fun pop records singing about love and partying are timeless for a reason. “Levitating” is bouncy and drives this point home via spunky lyrics and hooks. Other songs, such as “Hallucinate” are synthwave havens that invoke the album title in an oh-so-tasty groove. Still other moments are a journey into the discotheque (“Love Again”—no, it doesn’t sound like that one hit wonder song by Lara Fabian, actually).
One caveat—this album does get a bit steamy in parts. Tame lyrics probably compared to what many of our readers are used to, but for those like me, I have to acknowledge that this element won’t be for everyone. “Good in Bed” is about exactly what it sounds like, with some clever sound effects that play the role of being clever without being (that) titillating.
This album review was super easy to write, which is sometimes hard to come by in these parts. I’m still stuck on the first paragraph of a post-hardcore review at the time of publishing this, actually. Make of that what you will. Dance to this album, yes. But maybe don’t play it for your kids yet.