Dua Lipa's Debut Album is a Pop Dream
    • MONDAY, JUNE 05, 2017

    • Posted by: Larisha Paul

    British pop singer/songwriter Dua Lipa stole my heart for the first time back in November when she walked onto the stage as the opening act at Troye Sivan's Suburbia Tour show at Terminal 5. Not knowing who she was, I was ready to get the performance over with and finally see Troye; but, once she opened her mouth and her insanely powerful yet sultry vocals began to fill the room, I didn't want her to go anywhere. Of course she played her massive hits "Be the One" and "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)," which have amassed well over 215 million Spotify plays between the two of them, as well as "Hotter than Hell." These were all bangers that had everyone dancing and entranced by her presence, but then she slowed it down a bit as she sang, "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth / for what it's worth, I think that he might've created you first" to the subtle beats that her drummer created. This song won me over, but when the night was over, I didn't know the name of it and I couldn't find a studio version on her Spotify or iTunes. I eventually stumbled across a Youtube video of her performing a song called "Genesis" live in March of 2016. This was it. But it was just a live version. Why must I suffer? Nevertheless, I remained patient and this past Friday, after literal months of waiting, my wishes came true–"Genesis" was the first track on Dua's debut album Dua Lipa.

    Dua Lipa is an emotional ride, let me tell you. To start, Dua presents "IDGAF" as a kickass anthem for anyone who has been through a bad breakup, only to have the person try to come back to them, singing, "Stop tryna' get to me / get up off your knees / 'cause boy, I don't give a fuck about you" before diving back into the unbelievably empowering chorus. While "IDGAF" has me waiting anxiously for a tour announcement so I can experience its excellence live, "New Rules" has me feeling slightly betrayed. How could Dua have kept this absolute banger from me for all of this time? I've cleared every song from my summer playlist and replaced them with this song 40 consecutive times. On this track, Dua provides her audience with a 3 part list of what not to do with an ex: 1. Don't pick up the phone, 2. Don't let him in, and 3. Don't be his friend. She has her reasoning for each of these, but the biggest being: "If you're under him, you're not getting over him." I'm already seeing this as a timeless song, it already has me pumped about avoiding exes that I don't even have yet.

    While that seemed to be the breakup phase of the album, "No Goodbyes" and "Thinking 'Bout You" outline the path to heartbreak. "Thinking 'Bout You" touches on battling with the memories of a past lover to the point that you lose sleep over it; however, "No Goodbyes" is the true heart-wrenching track. "We tried hard to fix it, but we just broke it more / And so I guess some things are not meant to last, is it too much to ask?" Dua sings before delving into a chorus with vocals that may bring you to tears before the lyrics do, and a post-chorus that will have you dancing through the heartbreak. This trend of sadness continues in "Garden," which is one of the best songs on the album. The lyrics are genuine and honest, Dua's voice sounds heavenly, and there is even a connection made to "Genesis" in terms of biblical references on the album. Also, the final chorus following the bridge is mind-blowing.

    Thankfully, the album isn't entirely melancholic tracks about losing the love of your life and then hating them afterwards. "Lost in your Light," featuring Grammy award-winning R&B artist Miguel, and "Begging" are both upbeat pop tracks driven by the desire to be head-over-heels in love. "Begging" even goes as far as to suggest that it isn't merely an emotional wish, but a physical one as well, Dua singing: "All my bones are begging me to beg for you, begging me to beg for you love / Oh, my lungs are begging me to beg for you, begging me to beg for your love." Following this track, "Homesick" sets itself apart from nearly every other song on the album in some of the most unique ways possible. This gorgeous piano ballad's chorus leads with "You give me a reason something to believe in / You give me a meaning something I can breathe in." I know, beautiful right? But it gets better. Not only is the song beautiful, it features supporting vocals from the one and only Chris Martin. Martin co-wrote the song with Dua and his soothing voice pulls everything into place, creating the perfect final song on the album.

    If you made it through all 12 of those tracks and were still craving more–not to worry. The deluxe edition of Dua Lipa features her very first singles "New Love" (2015) and "Last Dance" (2016), as well as massive dance tracks "Dreams." Another upbeat song included, "Bad Together," is about living in the moment and not fearing the consequences, creating some serious carefree vibes. Dua gets a little more serious in "Room for 2," a track that might cause you to do a double take when it begins. The style of this song is unlike anything else on the album, standard or deluxe edition, as the chorus and bridge consist solely of Dua satisfyingly singing with very little presence of heavy instruments, allowing the listener to truly appreciate the lyrics as well as her voice before plunging into bass driven verses.

    Dua Lipa has made it clear with her debut album that she is no longer the pop genre's next 'up and coming' artist–she's here. To have an album with this magnitude of excellence out the gate, there will be a certain amount of pressure surrounding her in terms of creating future projects, but at this point no one doubts that she can create quality music as she grows as an artist. As she takes in the success of her first album and continues to take the pop scene by storm, I'll be here bumping "New Rules" and "Garden" on repeat and awaiting tour dates.
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