The British-Kosovan singer has created a fun and ambitious breath of fresh air with her long-awaited sophomore album. Her already released hit singles “Don’t Start Now” and “Physical” set the standard for Lipa’s new age of dance music.
The 11-track album explores female empowerment, sexual liberation, and love, with wholly retro songs infused and reminiscent of the ’80s and early ’90s.
Known for her ‘to the point’ lyrics, Lipa avoids riddles to ensure the listener knows exactly how she’s feeling, giving her music a major sense of relatability, accompanied by a familiar yet completely new sound.
She lends her inspiration from various well-known artists such as Blondie, Outkast and Gwen Stefani with 80’s revivalism prevalent throughout the album. Madonna’s ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor’ album also acted as a huge inspiration for the 24-year-old artist.
The opening title track establishes just what she intends to do with her new music; “You want a timeless song; I want to change the game.” The heavy influences of funk and electro-pop, with robotic beats, make for a fresh introduction.
“Cool” is a synth-pop ballad, co-written by Tove Lo, where Lipa lets her guard down and embraces a newfound love. ‘Don’t Start Now’, the lead single of the album was written by the same team as the 2017 hit “New Rules”. An instant number one, it was praised for Lipa’s vocals and composition with a strong bassline.
“Physical” is a lively beat with energetic vocals which echoes the lyric “Let’s get physical’ from Olivia-Newton-John’s 1981 hit. “Levitating”, perhaps the best song of the album is an instant mood booster with rhythm guitars, syncopated handclaps and references to Daft Punk. It proves that Lipa excels in borrowing styles from other artists without being obvious.
“Pretty please” is a sultry and compelling break amongst the high-intensity disco-pop in which Lipa pleads with her significant other for physical affection. “Hallucinate” is similar to Lipa’s previous dance tracks with Calvin Harris, making for a refreshing and upbeat song.
“Love Again” and “Break My Heart” are conflicting but both similar in energy in which Lipa recognizes she is falling for someone once again but then questions if this will be the one to end in heartbreak.
“Good In Bed” is Lipa’s most X-rated song where she states that the sexual connection in her relationship is the only thing keeping them together. Her husky tones and explicit lyrics show her growth and ridding of her clean-cut image.
The album closes with “Boys Will Be Boys”, an empowering anthem that although may not fit with the upbeat disco theme of the other songs, it exudes an important message. The singer tackles sexual harassment and states “If you’re offended by this song, you’re clearly doing something wrong.”
Revisiting disco in 2020 is undoubtedly daring but it certainly paid off, proving that Dua Lipa is unafraid to take risks for a fresh, futuristic album.
Image Credit: Hugo Comte/ Dua Lipa