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Dua Lipa's sophomore album 'Future Nostalgia' is pop music magic

Dua Lipa is an English pop singer-songwriter most known for her single "New Rules." Her second album "Future Nostalgia" was released March 27.  – Photo by Wikimedia

Dua Lipa, English singer-songwriter, released her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia” on March 27 and it's pop magic. Lipa told Apple Music she wanted the album to evoke nostalgia, honoring its namesake. The album is full of dance pop beats with influences of disco and funk showing her evolution as an artist and her personal journey. It has 11 tracks, all infectious pop that tells a story but while making you dance.

The first single Lipa released from “Future Nostalgia” is “Don’t Start Now,” a hit song with a catchy, disco beat where Lipa rejects an ex who attempts to slide back into her life. It’s classic Lipa, where she knows her worth and evokes it through the lyrics ever so confidently, empowering her listeners. The song served as a strong first single and peaked at second on the U.K. Billboard Charts.

The album starts off with the title track, “Future Nostalgia,” which plays with different sounds, sassy lyrics and an addicting chorus. The song challenges gender norms, where Lipa asserts her independence as a female artist and the strength of her songwriting and craft. She says, “No matter what you do, I’m gonna get it without ya / I know you ain't used to a female alpha,” playing on the term that is typically associated with men. I could listen to this song on repeat for days.

A favorite off this album is “Cool,” which is a bop for the ages. It’s a romantic and flattery song about catching feelings for someone and losing all your calm. Lipa continues her sonic experimentation on this track, as the chorus carries a magnetic beat as she sings about how this mysterious person has impacted her, creating the perfect crush song everyone can relate to.

“Physical” is also a notable track on this album and a classic party song. Lipa reinforces her intimate relationship with someone as a chorus of voices repeat “Come on / Let’s get physical.” The song is fast-paced and carries a mysterious sound, redefining contemporary dance pop.

“Levitating” is yet another playful song about a love that’s meant to be, the pop star describing the feeling as levitating through space. It incorporates Daft Punk elements, handclaps and a chorus of voices chanting throughout the song. She said, “My love is like a rocket, watch it blast off” and “I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight.”

Lipa ends the album on a somber but empowering note with “Boys Will Be Boys,” which tackles double standards and sexual harassment. The song explores the struggles girls face growing up, such as fearing for their lives walking home alone at night or having to mature at a faster pace than men. 

She sings the chilling lyric, “Boys will be boys / But girls will be women” and builds a firm defense for those who will be offended by what she has to say. This song joins the crowd of many others by female artists that have lamented or called out female inequality over time.

“Future Nostalgia” is hit after hit and hardly contains any fillers, which is a determining factor in what makes a good album. Typically, artists who acclaim stardom with their first album have a lot of pressure going into making their second one. But Lipa told Apple music she was more scared of repeating herself and making something like “New Rules” again. 

Lipa is honest in what she has to say, assertive in her emotions and experiences, and stays true to the theme of nostalgia by experimenting with '70s and '80s sounds. She further cements herself in the pop realm and league of female pop stars, growing as a musician and yet honoring her feel-good dance pop tunes. 

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