Review: Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

When Dua Lipa’s new album leaked, I decided to hold off from listening to it because, honestly, I was still listening to ‘Physical’ on repeat and thought I could hold out. BOY am I pleased I did.

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Future Nostalgia has cemented Dua Lipa’s position as one of my favourite women in pop. She has definitely not fallen to the curse of the sophomore album, receiving high praise from NME, Rolling Stone and The Guardian, among many others. 

With the album release being brought forward by a week due to coronavirus, and the aforementioned leak, Lipa has presented us with the perfect album to soundtrack lockdown. The high-energy dancercise vibe that runs through each track will be enough to get anyone out of a Netflix induced slump and dancing around the kitchen. Honestly, I think my housemates should be grateful that we all went home before this came out because I don’t let my lack of ability stop me from singing at every possible moment, and this album has given me a perfect opportunity. You can even follow along to her perfectly 80’s home workout video for ‘Physical’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvVonQ7LUJ0) while stuck indoors wondering whether revising for exams is really worth it (this is the only form of exercise I’ve done in the past two weeks and also the only form of exercise I’ve ever actually enjoyed, so this is high praise). Obviously, the tour associated with this album has been postponed but I for one am excited to see this album brought to life on stage, especially considering the fact that it’s likely to involve a dancercise class alongside thousands of other people. 

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Starting with the title track, ‘Future Nostalgia’ invites us into the album with the knowledge that Lipa is the “female alpha” and the 34 minutes that follow confirm this as fact. Each song on this album could have been a lead single but she chose three utter bangers to be the songs to introduce us into the world of Future Nostalgia; ‘Don’t Start Now’, ‘Physical’ and ‘Break My Heart’. Alongside these the album includes one my personal favourites, ‘Levitating’; perfect for a socially distanced dance, and a song with some strong Lily Allen vibes, ‘Good In Bed’. The album closes with possibly the weakest track of them all, but it still has a very strong message. ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ takes on sexual harassment and the experience of being a girl. Speaking with Vogue Australia, Lipa says that this is about how girls have to change themselves and how they act in order to “fit somebody else’s lifestyle.” Sometimes I think we forget that it isn’t normal to walk around with keys between your knuckles wondering if it’s safe to walk home in the dark. Although these last two tracks definitely don’t live up to the rest of the album and seem somewhat out of place with the rest of the line-up, they certainly don’t take away from just how good the rest of Future Nostalgia is. 

At the end of her last era, part of me was a bit bored of constantly hearing ‘One Kiss’ and ‘New Rules’ everywhere I went, and it really felt like Dua could be constrained by boring, easy pop. But this album proves that she is much more than that. Sometimes we all need a bit of pop perfection to get us through life and while we are living in a literal lockdown, Future Nostalgia is the perfect album to cope with this. I fully recommend pressing play, closing your eyes and imagining all this is over. 

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-Tilly Attrill

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