Amidst a period of inflated anxieties and relentless news cycles, Dua Lipa has offered us a visionary record which cuts through the noise.
We stan a self-isolation pop queen.
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Now more than ever, music is proving to be an invaluable remedy for an uncertaint time. ‘Future Nostalgia’ has been that glittering, disco-infused pop funk record to chase all your worries away.
The artist’s eagerly anticipated sophomore album has been met with high praise, emboldened by a transformative take on contemporary music. To think this viscerally bold production was almost undermined by a leak. Instead, the singer bounced back, bringing the release a week forward. It was a total power-play and it paid off.
‘Future Nostalgia’ is not only likely to earn the singer a top spot in the UK charts but has proved she is far from a one hit wonder. Yes, Lipa’s self-titled album had multiple smash songs, but the lingering speculation seemed tied to writer credits, with the majority of Lipa’s first record being very much a collaborative effort with other creatives.
While the occasional break out track, like ‘IDGAF’, did include the artist’s input, it wasn’t enough to shake the criticism. Truth be told, it’s not uncommon for a musician to have a helping hand, especially in pop. And what’s wrong with being a team player?
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Placing this to one side, Dua Lipa seems determined to reclaim her singer-songwriter reputation on her essential new album. Each song on ‘Future Nostalgia’ is quickly followed by a writing credit in her own name. They’re not just killer tracks, they’re statements.
It’s no secret that Dua Lipa is something of an activist. Trailing through her album, you will find cutting socio-commentaries squeezed next to flourishing funky bass lines — this artist is not someone to shy away from controversy, speaking her mind wherever possible. Lipa spares no fragile ego with the line: “I know you ain’t used to a feel alpha” in her ultra-confident self-titled opener.
‘Boys Will Be Boys’ wasted no time in calling out a culture that forgoes men of taking responsibility for their actions. In a vivid anecdote, the singer describes the all too familiar protective instinct of slotting keys between your knuckles for the sake of self-defense.
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It seems like nothing is capable of uprooting Dua Lipa from her self-assured pop persona, not even the curse of the Grammy awards. We’ve all heard the tales of fallen stars who peaked way before their prime.
In 2019, Dua won Best New Artist of the year off the back of one record. Enjoying overwhelming success so early on in your career can stunt many, but she continued to build a powerhouse discography in a chart-topping collaboration with Calvin Harris. One album is really all it took to fall in love with this artist.
Yet, the tide did eventually turn as the internet rapidly flocked from adoring her musical presence to mocking her dance moves through endless videos and witty one liner tweets. While the criticism evolved into nothing more than a meme, the singer took to the stage at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards with incredible choreography.
All it took was a few minutes for the singer to - yet again - prove a questioning audience wrong.
Growth doesn’t always come naturally for artists but, like her music, Dua isn’t here to play. Now with the undeniable success that back to back smash hit albums can afford, Dua Lipa is a visionary to be reckoned with.
‘Future Nostalgia’ is simply an essential self-isolation treat – honestly, make time with this album. You deserve it.
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'Future Nostalgia' is out now.
Words: Zoya Raza-Sheikh
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