After releasing the deluxe of her debut album in 2017, listeners were patiently waiting for new tunes by Lipa. When word hit the circuit that there was a new record in the works: the hype sky-rocketed. Let’s dive in to see if this album lived up to the hype. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I hate spoiling anything about records before diving-diving into detail, but all I will say is buckle up because his review is about to bring the heat because this album sure does. From the jump of this record, it is very apparent that Lipa released a record that drove on the world of dance through the means of a groove. What does this mean in terms of music? Well, each selection has a specific groove that is created from the beginning of each track. From there, that acts as the primary foundation with variations for contrast’s sake. This approach gives the artist a lot of room for variety in terms of musical genre within the musical influences category as well as provides her with the opportunity to bend and twist each track in innovative ways, for no matter what she chooses to do on top of the groove- it still bops. With musical influences, it is heard that Lipa utilizes her characteristic sound. She does this by providing an overall base that sounds right out of the 80s. On top of this, however, Lipa brings her modern flair by providing moments from the pop, alternative, and R&B musical genres. The crossing of these genres makes for strategic moments of silence, intricate moments of just sound to create soundscapes to outline the catchy lyrical lines, small musical blurbs in the instrumental voice that accent the lyrical line but also resonate to stick with the listener, and a strong balance of sung to spoken-word to rapped vocals for audience members to attach to. Also, when talking about music from the 80s, it is imperative, and I mean imperative, to discuss just a few nods that Lipa includes throughout various tracks on the album. As mentioned earlier, Lipa includes small instrumental moments that either fit into the groove or they accent the melody. While providing these moments, Lipa pays homage to some major powerhouse artists and selections from the 80s by quoting moments by Eurhythmics, Queen, and John Williams just to name a few. Overall, I am giving this record a 5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score, for the music found on the make is almost as intelligent as it is intriguing and memorable. The way that Lipa scored this record made it so a spectrum of people with varying musical preferences would enjoy it, and the influences and nods from 80s artists as well as the style from the 80s is just too phenomenal to deny. Please, check out this record.
“Break My Heart”, “Physical”, and “Love Again”
When listening to this record, it is apparent that each selection fits perfectly in the mold that is this album. Thus, when sitting down and trying to decide which tracks rank above the rest, that task becomes virtually impossible. With that being said, the selections that I chose to outline are the ones that will resonate with listeners on their initial listen. The moments that these tracks create place listeners in a jam-packed, flashback meets revival of the 80s, which results in the equivalent to a huge groove session. My biggest suggestion is to experience this record from front to back as it was intended, but if you just want a taste: start here.
When first glancing at the album artwork, it can be said that the image is fresh and striking. The image portrays the artist flying a hovercraft or some other type of space-inspired vehicle in the height of night. This approach to a cover will grasp the attention of viewers, for it is an elevated take from her debut album, which is fitting for a sophomore release, and the retro style of the art will intrigue viewers to want to take the step to see what the music, inside, has to offer. Turning to the music, from the title, Lipa already places some imagery in the mind of the listener by providing something as broad and borderline in the oxymoron family, with a title such as: “Future Nostalgia”. This nod gives the listeners a taste of what’s to come, but it makes them want to dive in to see what all that means. Alongside the title, in terms of music, it is heard that Lipa continually pulls musical influences from the heart of 80s music. She does so with a twist, for with each selection, she utilizes the 80s style as a foundation, but then, she polishes the overall work with a modern flair. The mixture of the title and her approach to music ties impeccably to the cover for the record. The connection of space is very quasi- and cliché in terms of connection due to the known connection to future and space. However, when taking that a step further, it can be said that the outfit that Lipa is wearing compares to that of what the Jetsons wore on the famous 1960s show The Jetsons. This ties to the “Nostalgia” portion of the title. On the flip side, Lipa pays homage to the “Future” notion by wearing an outfit that is chic and drives an advanced modern style. Placing both of these together to act as the cover for this record gives the viewers “Future Nostalgia” in a snapshot, which may easily go unnoticed due to its modern finish. Therefore, I would say the cover art and the music work beautifully on their own, but together? They create just the right amount of innovation and nostalgia that no one knew they needed.
*”Future Nostalgia” was released on March 27th, 2020 through Warner Records UK.