Future and present nostalgia
17 March 2021-
With only 2 full length albums under her belt, British sensation Dua Lipa is already changing the worldwide pop landscape... Case in point: her sophomore effort Future Nostalgia!
Dua Lipa (real name) is a 25-year old first generation Brit of Kosovar Muslim origin. And she is also one of the brightest pop stars to emerge in recent years. To the point of (already) affecting the very genre she operates in… But let’s rewind: ever since her 2017 debut, the singer has been met with tremendous commercial and critical acclaim. Her single “New rules” currently has 2,3 billion hits on Youtube (not too shabby) — and another 1,5 billion streams on Spotify… but who’s counting? Her 2020 sophomore LP, the brilliantly named Future Nostalgia, currently has its biggest single “Don’t Start Now” sitting right under 500 million Youtube hits — and near 1,4 billion Spotify streams. Again, who’s counting?
Because the thing is — numbers don’t even matter. Dua Lipa is a bona fide artist, and by that we mean her musical personality is obvious despite her (still relatively) young age. Future Nostalgia, which recently got itself reedited as The Moonlight Edition (not to mention the earlier remix version Club Future Nostalgia) is a remarkable piece of contemporary pop music, complete with an array of influences — and variations on said influences. From the disco-funk stylings of the aforementioned “Don’t Start Now”, which Kylie Minogue will no doubt recognize, to the 80’s retro-pop of “Physical” reminiscent of what fellow Brit La Roux has been all about for over a decade, to “Love Again” and its sample which was famously used in White Town’s 1990’s classic “Your Woman“… it’s interesting to see Lipa’s sheer breadth of artistic influences here, which still manage to converge toward an astoundingly coherent sound.
The reedition features even more good stuff: the Miley Cyrus “Prisoner” duet, originally released on the singer’s 2020 album Plastic Hearts, another one with Belgian sensation Angèle, “Fever”, “Un Dia” featuring other growing superstar Bad Bunny… Let’s just say that this is not merely a marketing trick: you’ll want to check that version out as well. Yet, it is perhaps the more minimalistic aesthetics of “Break My Heart” (or to a lesser extent “Don’t Start Now” and, before that, “New Rules”) that best embody Lipa’s contribution to contemporary worldwide music. Her cristalline vocals help too: it doesn’t take much more than a clean beat to perfectly complement them…
Last Sunday, Miss Lipa won a grammy for the album — her third so far. And she graced us with a beautiful live performance on a night women were very much at the forefront. Let us very much hope that continues — both for women in general and Dua Lipa in particular!