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


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

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.

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.


Luke Holland

The GuardianTramp

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