It’s always interesting to see how pop stars are born. Dua Lipa, the British 21-year-old singer-songwriter who has just released her self-titled album debut, is one of England’s rising stars. A rightful one at that: the dark haired beauty has one of those flawless and distinctive voices that once you hear, you could recognise anywhere.
Since being signed by Warner Bros. Records in 2015, Dua has been releasing single after single, to the point where out of her 17-track album, eight of the songs had already been previously released. Luckily, the singer makes up for it with an offering of nine never before heard tracks that should be enough to delight the fans who are looking for new music from their favourite young star.
The album starts off with never-heard-before “Genesis.” Aptly named, the song talks about the ending of a relationship and the longing for how things were in its beginning. The warm beat gets your head bobbing in preparation for the pop bonanza that comes ahead.
“Lost in your Light” is Dua’s new single: it was released about a month before the album launch and it already boasts 11 million streams on Spotify. Sung partially by Miguel, the song is one of the only two collaborations on the album. The lack of a long list of flashy names goes against pop’s current trend and is particularly impressive on a debut LP.
“Hotter than Hell” was the singer’s second ever single, released in 2016. A lot more EDM inspired than any of the other songs in the album, the song is only rivalled in that aspect by “Scared To Be Lonely,” Lipa’s collaboration with Martin Garrix. It’s followed by “Be the One,” arguably Lipa’s most well-known song. Released in 2015, it’s a plea for a potential lover to take a chance on her. But, unlike ABBA, she does it with no whimsical intentions. It’s sultry, seductive, sung by Lipa in a deep voice.
“IDGAF” is where Lipa gets assertive and makes it clear she isn’t about to waste any more time in this particular suitor. In “Garden,” she compares the end of a lust-filled relationship with leaving the garden of Eden. In the insanely catchy “Blow Your Mind,” she promises to do exactly that. In “No Goodbyes” and “Thinking About You,” there’s real heartbreak with soothing melodies.
“Homesick,” the beautiful collaboration with Coldplay‘s has only one fault: it sounds a bit too much like Coldplay. Martin sings soft backing vocals, clearly taking a step back to allow Dua a space to shine in a song that has his signature all over it. Album closers “New Love,” “Last Dance” and “Bad Together” are again, extremely catchy and terribly addictive.
Even when the songs fail to wow, they never disappoint. In every track, Dua delivers consistent pop and proves that there’s a reason she was able to release 8 singles before she ever got to release a full LP. With no exception, all of the 17 tracks are potential singles.The fact that there are no forgettable songs is a statement to the album’s quality. But it’s also proof of the singer’s vocal and writing abilities: Lipa can surely do both.
It’s always interesting to see how pop stars are born. Pop is having a moment where looks aren’t everything: now talent also counts. Dua Lipa has it in spades and by listening to her impressive debut album, I can only assume she has nowhere to go but up.
Dua Lipa is out now via Warner Bros. Purchase it on iTunes here.
Words By Joana Coelho