Rediscover disco with ‘Future Nostalgia’

Dua Lipa presents a funky pop album reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

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Lauren McBride, Deputy Arts & Entertainment Editor

In a world of sickness and stress, “Future Nostalgia” may have come at just the right time. Dua Lipa takes classic pop music and puts her own unique spin on it in her sophomore album, presenting irresistible dance tunes and a fun escape from reality. Distinctive ‘80s and ‘90s influences set this album apart as it offers simple messages of love interests and relationships.

FUNKY TUNES

The disco influence in “Future Nostalgia” is undeniable and every single track instills the desire to dance in the listener. Undoubtedly one of the more unconventional songs on the album, “Physical” is the epitome of an ‘80s workout video track with an intense motivational beat. Lipa knew exactly what she was doing here, as the singer released an ‘80s-themed workout video to go along with the song.

The track “Future Nostalgia” opens the album, bringing light to its namesake and giving listeners a taste of the album. Unique instrumentals and funky synths simultaneously give the songs a fresh, futuristic vibe and bring listeners into a state of nostalgia. Everything distinctive about the album is encapsulated in the first number and sets the tone for the next ten tracks.

Love Again” demonstrates another clear reference to ‘90s music, featuring a sample of the archetypal trumpet bit from the ‘90s hit “Your Woman” by White Town. The fun addition is one that many listeners will recognize and appreciate.

Even tracks like “Don’t Start Now,” a song more in tune with classic pop, contain iconic elements like cool electric synths and hollow percussions that make them stand out. With an early release in November, “Don’t Start Now” has already made a huge splash with over 600 million streams on Spotify.

VAST VOCALS

Listeners discern Lipa’s vocal capabilities much more clearly in “Future Nostalgia.” The singer gained a bit of a reputation for “speak-singing” for most of the music in her self-titled album, especially in hits such as “New Rules” and “IDGAF.” While this style of singing is still seen to some extent in “Future Nostalgia,” she definitely takes it up a notch, making her vocal range one to be rivaled.

The infectiously upbeat “Hallucinate” shows Lipa’s ability to go high with her notes as well as show some grit. One of the best demonstrations of her range on this album is undoubtedly “Good in Bed,” in which she hits a contrasting note with each word in the verse.

“I’ve been thinking it’d be better / If we didn’t know each other / Then you go and make me feel okay,” she sings in the pre-chorus. 

Boys Will Be Boys” also flaunts Lipa’s impressive capabilities. Softer and with more reflective lyrics in comparison with the rest of the album, the track feels like a song straight from a movie soundtrack by the time it reaches its end. Violin and piano are incorporated to make this a truly beautiful, nearly orchestral piece.

BREAK FROM REALITY

Due to the coronavirus, Lipa announced via her Instagram that her album—originally set to release on April 3—would be released a week early on March 27.

“I feel like maybe now more than ever, the album should just come out,” Lipa said in an interview with NPR. “I just want people to be able to take a moment away from what’s going on outside and I hope it gives them some happiness and moments of fun.”

Though the album presents simple messages of love, crush culture and female empowerment, the confident, cheerful tunes have the power to give listeners a break from the crazy world around them. In the midst of everything, Lipa offers fans of her album a reason to let go and invites them to just dance.

I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight / I need you all night, come on, dance with me,” she sings.

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