Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia review – a dazzling dance through the decades

(Warner Music)

A leak brought forward the release of Dua Lipa’s second album. Lady Gaga’s forthcoming LP Chromatica, by contrast, has been delayed in response to coronavirus. A cordon sanitaire should exist between the two, because Future Nostalgia is a pop behemoth, one that frequently recalls peak Gaga and any number of proven hitmakers.

If the album’s title makes the bold claim that records-to-be will hark back to the second outing of this “female alpha” as a high-water mark, the British-Kosovan singer has actually succeeded in audaciously mulching several decades of party music into an album so relentless it doubles as a playlist.

There are no tiresome ballads to curtail the female-positive forward motion, just an acerbic outro, Boys Will Be Boys, that mourns how girls grow up too fast. Big, obvious disco and 80s tropes loom large everywhere, notably on pre-album bangers such as Don’t Start Now or Physical.

Elsewhere, aggressive basslines worm along and beats slap hard on Hallucinate, violins scythe mercilessly and cowbells clang. Best of all is the impeccably produced Pretty Please, where Dua Lipa pleads with a lover to stay, because he slows down the whirring of her mind. Her vocal is giddy and half-rapped, then it slows down to a sultry coo.

Watch the video for Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa


Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Dua Lipa: Studio 2054 review – a celebration of up-close disco joy
The British pop paragon tops off a triumphant year with a dance-party live stream complete with Kylie, Elton John and a pole-dancing FKA twigs

Kitty Empire

06, Dec, 2020 @5:30 AM

Article image
Dua Lipa: ‘Pop has to be fun. You can’t get upset about every little thing’
The New Rules singer talks about her Kosovan roots, her strict work ethic and music as an escape

Tom Lamont

15, Apr, 2018 @8:30 AM

Article image
Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia review – a true pop visionary
Britain’s biggest female star tightens her grip on the crown with a viscerally brilliant second album

Laura Snapes

27, Mar, 2020 @9:00 AM

Article image
Kitty Empire's best music of 2020
Our critic’s picks, from righteous old-school hip-hop via euphoric retro pop to classic American songwriting

Kitty Empire

27, Dec, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Why pop’s future is black and British
Ray BLK’s triumph in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll underlines the dominance of UK R&B

Kitty Empire

08, Jan, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Troye Sivan: Bloom review – thrillingly honest dance pop

Alim Kheraj

02, Sep, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Aldous Harding review – conundrums you can dance to
The New Zealand singer-songwriter begins touring her third album, Designer

Kitty Empire

18, May, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Future Islands review – not drowning but raving
Future Islands’ Samuel T Herring is one of the most sweatily intense singers around, but it’s not just theatrics

Kitty Empire

30, Apr, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
The 50 best albums of 2020, No 2: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
The pristine club-pop on this energetic album owes a great debt to the musical past but sounds magically, wonderfully of the moment

Kate Solomon

17, Dec, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
Låpsley: Through Water review – bedroom auteur’s potent follow-up

Phil Mongredien

22, Mar, 2020 @1:00 PM