December 17, 2020
The pristine club-pop on this energetic album owes a great debt to the musical past but sounds magically, wonderfully of the momentFollow our countdown of the 50 best albums of 2020For Dua Lipa, 2020 began with a puddle of tears and it ended the same way. When her second album leaked in April, the Singer sobbed her way through an Instagram video explaining that she’d brought the release of Future Nostalgia forward by a week. She didn’t know if the early days of a pandemic-induced lockdown was the right time for a record so heavily calibrated for the dancefloor. But she needn’t have worried: in a year fraught with anxiety and fear, a shot of future nostalgia was just the thing.
The 50 best albums of 2020, No 2: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
The album fizzes with coiled energy, each of the 11 songs delivering a euphoric high over an irresistible beat. The track that gives the album its name contains the brassy line: “You want what now looks like, let me give you a taste.” It’s true, but it’s also not – the album owes a great debt to the musical past, nostalgic itself for the costume jewelled glitz of disco and the Day-Glo of 80s powerpop and those who have gone before. Among others, it references Olivia Newton-John, turn of the millennium Madonna, 1930s bandleader Lew Stone (and by extension, 1990s White Town), 1980s INXS, Lily Allen and the Who. Deftly cajoling these disparate sounds into a lithe 43 minutes of pristine club-pop music that does sound incredibly now is nothing short of alchemy.
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