Music Review: Dua Lipa fuels the future of pop with ‘Nostalgia’

Josue Arellano
Staff Writer

Dua Lipa’s new album, “Future Nostalgia,” is a statement pushing pop music forward while drawing inspiration from the past.

With several hits since 2017, Dua Lipa exploded onto the scene with her hit single “New Rules.” This expanded her base, leading to several collaborations ending up on Billboard top charts such as “Electricity” and “One Kiss.” Although still making a name within the industry, she had never done anything that shifted the norms of pop music until now.

Up until the release of her new single “Don’t Start Now,” Lipa had not made an impact with most of her solo music that featured similar cookie cutter patterns reminiscent of most mainstream pop artists. However, Lipa separated herself from her peers within the industry with the release of “Future Nostalgia.”

The opening title track opens up with the lyrics, “You want a timeless song, I wanna change the game. Like modern architecture, John Lautner, coming your way.” Lipa makes it clear from the start of the album that her goals as an artist are not only to bring forth great music, but to completely revolutionize modern pop music.

 The vocals she delivers in this song come off as powerful, conveying a confident musician well aware of her sound and direction. The hook of the song lets listeners know that even if they want to figure her out, they cannot keep up because she is reinventing herself. 

The entire album has a defining influence of 1980s synth pop, similar to early Daft Punk, especially on “Hallucinate.” The song features a looping house beat that carries the tone while delivering some of Lipa’s best vocals on the entire album.

Some of the hooks and cadences of songs give off such a 1990s or early 2000s feel that if they were released then they could have easily been successful. The Spice Girls cadance can sometimes be heard to flow through her songs, which only breathes more life into her work and makes it feel like a certified hit. 

The beauty of the album and how it pulls from its influences lets it not solely rely on its influences, but rather the originality of Lipa and her team.  

Songs like “Love Again,” which samples the 1997 song “Your Woman” by White Town, proves a prime example of how the album was able to be inspired by other artists, yet still inspirational on the basis of its own creativity. 

Although the album is a clear standout from everything Dua Lipa has put out before, the final track “Boys Will Be Boys” feels like a weak ending to such a strong album. The lyrics are empowering and she speaks on an issue – toxic masculinity – that needs to be discussed further. But the instrumental and delivery on the track feel very lackluster compared to the rest of the album. Such a strong album needs a stronger conclusion. 

“Future Nostalgia” is full of potential hits that call on past influences while still allowing her own creativity to shine through. The future of pop lies here. 

Josue Arellano can be reached at josue.arellano@laverne.edu.

Josue Arellano
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