Best in Arts & Entertainment 2020 Mid-Year: #12 – Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia (Music)


12. Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

If you had mentioned Dua Lipa’s name and played her most popular radio hit for me a few years back, I would have shrugged my shoulders. Her first album certainly showed her to be a promising pop star, but you could write that about dozens of new pop artists every year. Then, my daughter turns on the radio and starts blaring a song called ‘Don’t Start Now’. When I began to realize the music surrounding her beautiful voice was real and not the typical computer created nonsense, I started to listen up.

Just a few short weeks later the album ‘Future Nostalgia’ came out, and I was hooked. I have probably listened to the song ‘Cool’ about a thousand times this year and it has not come close to wearing out its welcome on me. The same can be said for equally catchy pop ballads ‘Levitating’, ‘Physical’, and the hit single ‘Break My Heart’. For the most part, these songs are all about love and sex. Which is pretty much what every pop song is about. They are just elevated by some stellar instrumentation, unforgettable lyrics, and riffs that won’t leave your head.

That is, until she does a complete 180 on the final track. After spending an entire album singing about getting with and teasing boys, she drops some reality on the final track. It’s almost like the label gave her one song about something important and said “keep it short, but get out what you want to say”. What she delivers is a fully orchestrated ballad on toxic masculinity and the childish nature of so many men that have lead us to the current “Me Too” era we are in. It is a clear and concise track that delivers a memorable chorus, but even more memorable message. And she manages to bring it in under 3 minutes. It’s quite an accomplishment, and so is this stellar album.

Nathan Ligon

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