Release Date: Mar 27, 2020
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock
In times of increasing uncertainty and worry, we could all use a little something to uplift us - and Dua Lipa has stepped up to the plate. Releasing hotly-anticipated second album 'Future Nostalgia' a week early due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she took to Instagram to explain her reasoning: "I hope it brings you some happiness, and I hope it makes you smile, and I hope it makes you dance. I hope I make you proud." And, well, 'Future Nostalgia' delivers on this and then some.
That might sound like hyperbole but, then again, is it? From the minute "Be The One" sprang out of nowhere in 2015, it felt like we were about to witness something special; a popstar both in tune with the times and ready to carve her own path. Then, in 2017, "New Rules" turned Dua Lipa from an industry secret to a global superstar. She became an artist that sets trends, with "New Rules" copycats still coming out of the woodwork today.
Since bursting onto the music scene in 2016 with her highly contemporary fusion of synth-pop and R&B, Dua Lipa has released a shedload of chart-bothering singles and a unit-shifting self-titled album housing them, along with her trademark sultry sass. Her first single Be The One was a game-changing pop anthem championing self-belief and perseverance. Her first solo UK number one came with the tremendous tropi-pop EDM banger New Rules, a canny crossover heralding female empowerment in the digital, social media and smartphone era.
No 2017 pop release had legs like Dua Lipa's self-titled debut. "New Rules," the know-your-worth anthem that became her breakout, was actually the sixth single from an album delayed eight months past its original release date. While Dua Lipa's long shelf life built the British and Kosovar Albanian singer's fanbase, the trickle of new music she appeared on in the interim--a major hit with Calvin Harris' "One Kiss," the throwback house of Diplo and Mark Ronson's "Electricity"--maintained her momentum.
Dua Lipa has really stepped up her game with sophomore album, 'Future Nostalgia'. At twice the length, her eponymous debut album's medley of typical dancefloor fillers, predictable sad songs and singalongs, doesn't quite captivate the listener throughout. This is not the case with 'Future Nostalgia' as Dua Lipa taps into a newfound fire in her belly, and throws out banger after banger.
D ua Lipa could have taken an easy path to sustaining her status as Britain's most successful female pop star on album number two. A few Ed Sheeran co-writes, some savvy collaborations, 17 tracks (one for every Spotify genre playlist), a few on-trend lyrics about anxiety and skipping a party: deal sealed. But she's done the complete opposite. The 11-track Future Nostalgia offers neither features nor filler, and makes a strident case for Lipa as a pop visionary, not a vessel.