“Don’t present up/ Don’t come out!” sings Dua Lipa on “Don’t Begin Now”. It’s as if the 24-year-old “alpha feminine” – who shot to fame in 2017 with smash hit “New Guidelines” – noticed the pandemic lockdown coming and has gifted us with an ideal “dancercise album” to assist us to bop our option to giddy elation all through our lengthy isolation. 

Her sensational second album Future Nostalgia (initially scheduled for launch subsequent month however dropping now after on-line leaks and since “the factor we’d like proper now’s pleasure”) channels the zingy, electro-ambitions of the 1980s with exceptional freshness, on condition that the last decade’s revival has now lasted about twice so long as the unique interval. Her nods to Madonna, Olivia Newton John, Prince, Debbie Harry and Nile Rodgers are direct and unblinking – mercifully free from the raised eyebrow of irony so typically used to offer retro sounds a contemporary topspin. 

Though Lipa was born and raised in north London, her youth of pop-discovery (from age 10-15) have been spent in her mother and father’ native Kosovo. I’m wondering if that distance from London’s cosmopolitan superiority allowed her to embrace the cartoon pleasure of popular culture with an japanese European earnestness which may not have been thought-about cool again in Britain.  


You’ve in all probability already heard singles “Don’t Begin Now” and “Bodily” – the brand new single that drop-kicks the Lycra-bounce of Newton-John’s 1981 hit of the identical title into the 21st century. Again within the day, Newton-John was understandably uncomfortable about how her music’s unabashed sexuality – “There’s nothin’ left to speak about except it’s horizontally” – would have an effect on her good-girl picture. At this time, Lipa stares straight down the digicam at us as she takes cost in her train video. “Hello. I’m Dua, and I’ll be your teacher in the present day…” The husky mezzo that stored her out of the varsity choir (there have been tears) is muscular with authority and doesn’t stand for any melismatic shilly-shallying. Every be aware will get down and provides her 20. 

She retains a leather-driving-gloved command over the wonky synths of “Levitating” and “Hallucinating” and the spacey spangle glitter gel noises of “Cool” – on which she sings of “burning up on you/ In charge of what I do/ And I like the best way you progress.”

It’s invigorating to listen to her use samples like barbells – lifting and flexing with them, not dancing round them like decorative purses. Finest is her use of White City’s 1997 “Your Lady” on “Love Once more” – maybe essentially the most romantic music we’ve heard to this point from a girl whose title truly means “love” in Albanian. White City’s bedroom-made chart-topper (which itself sampled a 1930s music) was one of many first to flip the singer’s gender (a person sang he would “by no means be your girl”), and Lipa provides to the sense of head-messing by stirring strings into the combo whereas confessing she’s sinking her “enamel into disbelief”.  

However I additionally love her use of the sexy-stuttering riff from INXS’s booty-call traditional “Want You Tonight” on “Break My Coronary heart”. You possibly can image entire households dancing to this collectively as youngsters’ and oldsters’ musical coordinates intersect.

Elsewhere she goes for full cartoon delight, rescuing the cowbell (final shamed by Robin Thicke) on the pulsating “Fairly Please” and dropping a full gum-popping sound impact on the Lily Allen-indebted “Good in Mattress”, which finds her conversationally frank about “All that good pipe within the moonlight” with a man who disappoints in each different manner.

However alongside the silliness there’s an uncompromising acknowledgement of feminine empowerment that followers will count on from the “New Guidelines” singer. “It’s Not Me, It’s You” and “Boys Will Be Boys” each deal with problems with gender inequality. The latter comes in the direction of the top and sees the six-foot star state: “It’s second nature to stroll dwelling/ Earlier than the solar goes down/ And put your keys between your knuckles/ When there’s boys round/ Isn’t it humorous how we snort it off to cover our concern/ When there’s nothing humorous right here.” 

It’s a sheer bliss that she will be able to ship these onerous truths to a soundtrack that’s ridiculously leotard and leg heaters. Actually, there isn’t a duff monitor on right here. Each beat is elastic, each be aware and pattern daring and glossy. Future Nostalgia is 37 minutes of pure sonic spandex. 



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