Dua Lipa brings joy to the quarantine with ‘Future Nostalgia’: an album review


Photo Credit: @dualipa

Grace Potter

Since her self-titled debut album was released in 2017, British pop star Dua Lipa has recently made the world a little more cheerful of a place. After dropping singles “Don’t Start Now,” “Physical,” and “Break My Heart,” Lipa has finally released the long-awaited album “Future Nostalgia.” 

Pitchfork described the singer’s sophomore album as “a collection of sophisticated, hard-bodied pop-funk that gradually gives way to slick, Kylie Minogue-inspired disco… capitalizing on a love of ’80s pop and ’90s club culture.” If at any point during this quarantine you feel the urge to transport yourself to a soft, glittery 90s dance club, “Future Nostalgia” is the album for you.

Fans were pleasantly surprised at the news of this release in late March. Lady Gaga had announced only a few days before the release of “Future Nostalgia” her decision to delay the release of her new album, “Chromatica,” because of the pandemic. While fans respected this decision, those who were also fans of Dua Lipa were grateful to get their fix of new music. 

University sophomore Sarah Scott said, “One of my favorite songs on the album is the absolute bop that is ‘Levitating’ because it has a clear theme/aesthetic shown through the space imagery in the lyrics. It has unusually fast rhythms but still has a funky beat and feel to it like much of the other songs on the album to make it fit in nicely. I also really love glitter, so the lyric ‘Glitter in the sky, glitter in our eyes’ really got me. I can listen to this while driving, I can listen to this while working out, and I can listen to this while having a freaky space love affair, it’s got it all.”

This album is very cohesive; each song flows into the next very well. The wide range of song types on “Future Nostalgia” keeps people guessing; one moment you’re dancing around in front of your mirror to ‘Cool’ or ‘Hallucinate,’ the next moment you’re moving to the slower beats of ‘Pretty Please’ or ‘Love Again.’ The Internet has called it the perfect quarantine soundtrack, and many University students seem to agree. 

University sophomore Maeve Casey said, “I (like most people) am not having too much fun with this whole quarantine thing, but ‘Future Nostalgia’ has been the soundtrack for most of my dance breaks and 37 minutes of pure serotonin. Dua has always had a unique sound, but this album took it to a whole new level and I love it.”

Girl power has been a recurring concept in a lot of Dua’s music, and that only continues in her new album, particularly in the first and last tracks. In the album title intro track “Future Nostalgia,” she sings “No matter what you do, I’m gonna get it without ya, I know you ain’t used to a female alpha.” 

She starts the album with these empowering lyrics and ends with an empowering track— the song “Boys Will Be Boys” addresses the perpetual messages given to young girls and teenagers in order to keep themselves safe. Lipa starts the song with the lyrics, “It’s second nature to walk home before the sun goes down, and put your keys between your knuckles when there’s boys around.” The song asks why society teaches girls to hide timidly from boys and not draw their attention, but doesn’t teach boys to treat girls with respect. Lipa sings that we should teach boys exactly this, and allow girls to be their strong, authentic selves instead of hiding. She sings, “Boys will be, boys will be, boys will be, boys will be boys, but girls will be women.”

University sophomore Christian Kyle said, “I love that this album is fresh. There are elements of retro while retaining sounds that have never been heard before. What I love most about this album, specifically ‘Don’t Start Now,’ is that even though the song has been out for months it never fails to make me want to dance. This album is a feel-good masterpiece that makes you want to disappear into an 80’s nightclub and never leave.”

University junior Jillian Condran said, “It’s hard to pick a favorite because each track is a perfect slice of fresh funk-pop and disco. The instrumental on ‘Love Again’ is unlike any pop song I’ve heard and in turn, makes it instant ear candy. It features an obscure sample from White Town’s ‘Your Woman’ with jilted strings that make the song all the more infectious.” 

In writing “Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa has provided fans with fresh new music, both for a distraction from our current quarantined state and for positive, fun entertainment. While helping to cheer us up with an album full of disco-pop, Lipa has further secured a place in the pop music industry and was able to show the world more of her talent. Once the quarantine is over, will this album transition to a go-to nightclub soundtrack? It’s safe to say fans would definitely be on board!