Dua Lipa’s New Rules: a perfect slice of summer pop

Also this week: Lana Del Rey goes dark and downbeat, while Rag’n’Bone Man aims for Radio X

TRACK OF THE WEEK

Dua Lipa
New Rules

The omnipresent popster delivers a masterclass in how to avoid doing the ol’ grot-in-the-cot with an ex. To summarise: don’t pick up the phone, don’t let them into your home and – above all else – do not remove your underpants. “If you’re under him, you ain’t getting over him,” Dua honks in a contender for chorus of the summer. This is why it’s impossible to be a music snob in 2017: “disposable” pop is now actually this good.

Lana Del Rey ft A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti
Summer Bummer

If Lana thinks titles should rhyme, then I think I should take the time, to make sure this review does too, and thankfully the song’s not poo. It sounds like Lana always sounds, like she’s just lost a million pounds, but draped across a sketchy beat, and A$AP’s verses are a treat. It’s brittle and it’s sinister, a bit like our prime minister, so all in all it’s rather good, the greatest root veg is the spud.

Rag’n’Bone Man
As You Are

In a capitalist culture, supply will always rise up to meet demand. Here, Rag’n’Bone fulfils three demands simultaneously: the demand Jools Holland has for something in the charts that your dad says is “all right”; the demand for first-dance songs when your thick mate from school – Clare, always Clare – marries an ugly bloke (Tom, always Tom) she met at work; and the demand from Radio X for something to play between Royal Blood and the Verve. It exists for no other reason.

Liam Gallagher
Chinatown

Although the acoustic riff has been purloined like a cheap hotel towel from Beck’s Lost Cause, there’s something intrinsically likable about LG’s latest. It could be those cheeky couplets (“The cops are taking over/ While everyone’s in yoga”) which for Liam are practically Nietzschean; it could be the woozy chorus that shows where every quid spent on co-writers went; or it could be the fact that, even at 44, Eyebrows Jr still waddles about glowering at things like a brogue furiously mulling over a sum it doesn’t understand. Good to have you back, RKid.

AlunaGeorge
Turn Up the Love

Remember interesting synthy R&B duo AlunaGeorge? Well, this isn’t them. A song begins. There are some pitch-shifted “woo”s that were done much better on Bieber’s Sorry. There’s a chorus. You know it’s the chorus, because you go, “Oh, this bit must be the chorus.” Then it ends having left no impression, like a bowel movement requiring no wiping whatsoever. Just … meh.

Contributor

Luke Holland

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Tove Lo, A$AP Rocky, Smashing Pumpkins
Tove Lo gets graphic, A$AP Rocky ropes in a grime elder statesman, and Billy Corgan returns with a squelch

Hannah J Davies

15, Jun, 2018 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tracks of the week reviewed: Normani, Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey
A late-summer BBQ bop, a non-purposeful pop ditty, and a spooky if forgettable meander

Michael Cragg

16, Aug, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
First Hate’s The One: a pristine piece of teenage melancholia
Also this week: Gorillaz team up with Rag’n’Bone Man for an anodyne neo-soul number, while Young Thug changes direction

Angus Harrison

05, May, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
This week’s tracks reviewed: Calvin Harris, Friendly Fires and Bon Jovi
The dance don teams up with Dua Lipa, while the calypso-indie hip-shakers are back and Jon Bon Jovi gets geopolitical

Graeme Virtue

13, Apr, 2018 @10:00 AM

Article image
Rae Sremmurd’s Perplexing Pegasus: a Laser Quest codeine nightmare
Also this week: Alice Glass fails to pack the necessary punch, while Liam Gallagher is all plaintive and, well, quite nice

Gavin Haynes

25, Aug, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
Wolf Alice’s Yuk Foo: a ball-busting slice of kick-ass
Also this week, Dizzee’s back and he’s still got bars, while Calvin Harris brings another slice of flimsy awful

Sam Richards

23, Jun, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
Fever Ray’s To The Moon and Back: a kinky slice of squelchy synth-pop
Also this week: Franz Ferdinand get lost without Nick McCarthy and Morrissey brings weaponised loneliness

Gavin Haynes

03, Nov, 2017 @3:00 PM

Article image
Zayn’s Dusk Till Dawn: a towering piece of perfect pop
Also this week: Tove Lo’s subtlety-free sex jamboree and U2’s return to form after the iPhone debacle

Michael Cragg

15, Sep, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
Childhood’s California Light: here comes the sound of summer
Also this week: Sløtface bring a joyous slice of pop-punk, while The National keep it po-faced

Luke Holland

19, May, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
Mike Will Made-It’s Perfect Pint: like a purple drank dream
Also this week: Ne-Yo is back with a perfect slice of summer pop, while Kwaye delivers the heat with a soaring, sexy swooner

Graeme Virtue

09, Jun, 2017 @1:00 PM