(Image credit: Cover My Tunes)
English singer Dua Lipa was crowned as the new dance princess on the block after she snagged two Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording in 2019. A few of her hits are still stuck in the back of our heads a year later, and her latest album offers fresh tunes for our hungry ears. Lipa, 24, has always kept her persona of a young femme fatale facing trouble with her loved one intact through her records, and here we are reviewing her second studio album, Future Nostalgia.
The album was originally scheduled for release on the 3rd of April, but, unfortunately, it was leaked two weeks earlier. It was preceded by the lead single Don’t Start Now, followed by Physical, and Break My Heart. The album topped the charts in nine different countries, including the UK. Here’s what we think:
Right off the bat, the background beat sounds like Salt-N-Pepa’s Push It (1986), although it does not mention sampling the iconic song. However, it builds up to the disco throwback that the rest of the album offers. Lipa’s sassy vocals kick off the song before it flips into a light head voice during the post-chorus. The chorus is easily forgettable, and, considering it’s the title track, we might be off to a rough start.
I know you like this beat ’cause Jeff’s been doin’ the damn thing
Lipa gives a shout-out to writer/producer of the track, Jeff Bhasker.
Don’t Start Now
The quick-paced beat and synths make this song a potential club anthem, which could be the reason why it was chosen as the album’s lead single. Lipa is singing about overcoming heartbreak and moving on with someone else. The chorus features catchy electric guitar strums and violin tunes, and the overall ambience of the song radiates Lipa’s signature sassy energy that is similar to older hit New Rules(2017).
If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody
The raspy staccato of Lipa’s vocals is pleasing to the ear, and the chorus dives into the retro 80s vibe of Future Nostalgia. The bridge features faint falsetto vocals that sound dreamy, then flips into a flattering lower chest register.
The song title immediately reminds us of Olivia Newton John’s Physical (1981), and the song features similar lyrics “let’s get physical” to the 80s bop. This follows Lipa’s throwback to the disco era, but the song is forgettable. Lipa does not challenge her vocals to a higher register, and remains speech-like and almost yells the lyrics at some parts.
Lipa speeds up her singing during the verses and pre-choruses. The echo of her vocals, coupled with the sound of a crowd singing along and electric guitar strums, all make the song sound like it belongs in the 80s.
The song starts with just a beat accompanying Lipa’s clear vocals, which is followed by electronic mixes of her voice that are similar to her older hit Electricity (2017). The rhythm continues through the first pre-chorus, with a higher register by Lipa as she sings about wanting to take her relationship to a sensual level. The strong vibrato in the “pretty please” chorus make it lovely to listen to. The break features haphazard mixes and bells that almost sounds too random for the rest of the song.
The techno opening of the song will have your head bobbing along. The beat kicks up during the chorus, and it complements Lipa’s strong vocals that are slightly autotuned, but then fades right before the second verse for a few seconds. So far, this one is our favourite track!
The way Lipa manipulates different vocal registers, ranging from falsetto to chest, to light mix, enables the chorus to kick in with a catchy force.
The song features violin tunes in the soft intro, but then kicks off a fast-paced beat that carries Lipa’s speech-like vocals to the chorus, which sounds too repetitive. The violins are also similar to Don’t Start Now’s, and the outro features the same violin as the beginning of the song. Lipa sings about falling in love once again, but the song sounds a bit lazily-done.
Break My Heart
The beat starts easy and builds up slowly until it reaches the pre-chorus, which features Lipa’s high vocals but still in the chest register. The chorus sounds similar to Stronger (2000) by Britney Spears, and the beat kicks abruptly in the middle of it. The violins of Don’t Start Now and Love Again make another brief appearance. Lipa is singing about rethinking her relationship and fearing falling in love.