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Post-pandemic, Dua Lipa's 'Future Nostalgia' is still pop excellence

Dua Lipa's "Future Nostalgia" more than holds up two years out from its release. – Photo by DUA LIPA / Twitter

2020 was an extremely rough year for everyone due to the global pandemic that plagued the world. We were all in quarantine, longing to return to normal life and looking for an escape in our homes to help us mentally escape.

In comes Dua Lipa’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, “Future Nostalgia.” Before this album, the only things we really knew about Lipa were based on her past radio hits, such as “New Rules” and “One Kiss,” which spawned the infamous meme of Lipa dancing somewhat badly.

This album came at a time when people were thinking deeply about the past and reflecting on their pre-pandemic lives. This was the perfect time for Lipa to work on her artistry, help revive the up-and-coming modern disco trend and truly give her career a full 180. And she did just that.

While Lipa did have a name in the industry and a few popular songs, nothing could have propelled her to the top like this album did.

“Future Nostalgia” is truly the perfect blend of modern and retro, pop and disco, and completely transformed the trajectory of Lipa’s career.

This album is pop perfection and has such phenomenal production, concepts and overall longevity. Now, more than two years later, let’s look back at this work of art and highlight some of its best tracks and musical moments.

“Future Nostalgia,” the album's title track, opens the project flawlessly, setting the tone for the rest of the songs to come. It combines funky retro instrumentation with Lipa’s playful rap-like speaking verses and punchy yet catchy chorus.

Another album deep cut, “Cool” perfectly melds a stunning vocal performance from Lipa with a nostalgic 80s synth sound and infectious drums. This song truly makes me feel like I’m floating through space, which perfectly matches the vibes of the intergalactic album cover.

I absolutely adore every song on this album, but the only one that I find myself constantly skipping is the project’s closer, “Boys Will Be Boys.” When the album was released, I so badly wanted to love this song due to the general themes and message, but it just is a huge miss for me.

While I sometimes catch myself humming the melody in my head, it is a slight letdown when compared to the other phenomenal songs on the track list before it. It’s overall a bit of a sleeper track and is generally boring compared to the rest of the project.

“Good in Bed” is another playful and exciting track that, while sometimes repetitive, is extremely catchy and fun to listen to. It has slowly climbed its way up in my rankings, becoming one of my favorite tracks to listen to.

Usually when albums are released, I tend to become sick of the singles fairly fast, but this record is a huge exception. Every single on this album hits so hard, even two years later after they’ve all been extremely overplayed.

From “Don’t Start Now” to “Levitating” to “Physical,” all of the singles are so phenomenally written, produced, and performed that they truly have such immense longevity. Even the lesser-known tracks such as “Break My Heart” and “Love Again” have amazing replay value and overall add immense substance to the album as a whole.

We can’t discuss this album without mentioning the phenomenal planning and creativity that went into every aspect of this era. From the intergalactic album cover to the beautifully cohesive and well-thought-out music videos to the out-of-this-world live performances, every aspect of this musical era was a ten out of ten.

From her performance at the 2021 Grammys to her highly anticipated and highly successful world tour, Lipa has truly killed it with this album era. She even reclaimed the dance that the public made fun of her for, adding a better version of it to the choreography on her tour.

“Future Nostalgia” had such a huge impact on music, earning her five Grammy nominations for the album, including her win for Best Pop Vocal Album. Additionally, the project has been placed as one of the top five best albums of 2020 by publications like Billboard, GQ, Metacritic, People and Rolling Stone.

This album and its era have completely changed the scope of Lipa’s career. It solidified her as a force to be reckoned with, showed off her immense growth as an artist, earned her numerous accolades and catapulted her into the ranks with the greats of our generation.

If you’ve never listened to “Future Nostalgia” all the way through, you’re truly missing out on a transcending and extremely fun experience.

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