by Tom Springer
Pop artist Dua Lipa came out strong with her self titled debut album in 2017. She carved a spot for herself among the crowded pop space by offering something a little bit more meaningful. Empowering songs like New Rules and IDGAF topped the charts and set her on the path to stardom. She left herself some big shoes to fill with the followup album titled Future Nostalgia. So does the album show a promising future for Dua Lipa or should it have just stayed in the past?
First things first, it pains me to say it but calling Future Nostalgia a new or future classic would be unfortunately a leap. That said it’s a solid pop album that if anything plays around a bit with styles of the past and present. The album opens up with the title track which features a 80’s funk and post disco inspired sound. It immediately demonstrates Lipa’s ability to rip through a chorus and make everything smooth as butter. The first single that dropped called Don’t Start Now has roots in disco and 90’s alt pop. It’s a song about moving on and leaving the past behind, it’s chock full of Lipa’s brand of bravado.
From there the album is a bit of a mix; songs like Cool, Pretty Please, Physical, and Hallucinate are all fine pop songs but fall into the ultimately forgettable category. There’s a sense of style underneath but nothing to really grab you. However songs like Levitating and Good In Bed demonstrate that Dua Lipa really knows how to work a chorus especially into something powerful. The album does end on a strong note with the stripped down song Boys Will Be Boys which Dua Lipa on brand with a soft song that has a strong message particularly focusing on female empowerment.
Future Nostalgia is a worthy successor to Dua Lipa’s self titled debut, however it doesn’t exactly reach the same heights. There’s some very strong songs on there that will definitely remain in rotation and be appreciated down the road, she certainly tries to vary her sound and style, but there’s also a decent amount of pop fluff on here that ultimately feel like filler. There’s enough substance to make it worth a listen because it’s not a bad way to spend 37 minutes but at the same time it doesn’t really have the staying power to become a future nostalgic classic.