New music for the weekend includes Dua Lipa’s sophomore LP, Pearl Jam’s first album in over 6 years and a new song featuring Rihanna.
Thank God for Dua Lipa.
After Lady Gaga and Haim postponed their albums earlier this week due to coronavirus – and with new Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Adele music still months away – things were starting to look pretty bleak for pop music fans needing an escape from increasingly dire news.
So imagine our relief when we learned that Lipa’s sophomore album was not only still on track for release, but would be arriving a week early. And the best new artist Grammy winner doesn’t disappoint: “Future Nostalgia,” out Friday, delivers on the promise of the “New Rules” hitmaker’s 2017 self-titled debut, filled with euphoric disco throwbacks (“Hallucinate”), thumping synth ballads (“Cool”) and shimmering bedroom anthems (“Pretty Please”).
Her songs are tempestuous and taut, flirty and fun, with intoxicating hooks that sound like nothing else on the radio right now. (The album’s lead single “Don’t Start Now” is already her highest-charting song to date, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week.)
As Lipa, 24, announces on the swaggering title track, “You want a timeless song, I wanna change the game.” She does all that and more with “Future Nostalgia,” which is handily one of the best pop albums in years and a much-needed respite from our current panic.
If you’re looking for more dance-pop to lift your spirits, here are five other albums that have been in our heavy rotation during self-isolation:
Britney Spears, “Blackout”
Was there a more joyous needle drop in a movie last year than Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, sitting in an Escalade, bopping along to Spears’ “Gimme More” in “Hustlers?” (Short answer, no.) That’s the feeling we get every time we listen to the pop star’s woozy, weird and strikingly sexy 2007 album “Blackout,” which is packed with bold club bangers including “Break the Ice,”“Freakshow” and “Get Back.”
Lady Gaga, “Artpop”
Similar to “Blackout,” many critics and fans weren’t sure what to make of Gaga’s messy and adventurous third effort upon its 2013 release, but have since grown to love it in retrospect. While it never quite reaches the exhilarating heights of “The Fame Monster” or even “Born This Way,” you’ll still find many should’ve-been hits listening back to “Artpop” now (“G.U.Y.” and “Gypsy,” chief among them).
Robyn’s 2018 return is a more laid-back but no less satisfying followup to the Swedish singer’s 2010 “Body Talk,” which gave us indelible dance favorites “Indestructible,”“Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing on My Own.” Warm, sparkling and at times achingly personal, “Honey” is a cathartic album to dance the pain away.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Emotion”
The critically adored 2015 album that announced Jepsen’s shift from a bubblegum pop star of “Call Me Maybe” fame to a taste-making indie-pop darling. Blissfully bursting with unbridled emotion and dramatic synth hooks, this ’80s-indebted effort will have you smitten from the very first saxophone blasts of “Run Away with Me.”
Kylie Minogue, “Fever”
“Can’t Get You Out of My Head”: It’s not just the name of Minogue’s seductive signature song, but our feelings about her insanely catchy 2001 album as a whole. Pulsing with frothy, dance floor-ready confections such as “Love Affair,”“Give It to Me” and “Love at First Sight,” Minogue cements her status as a pop pioneer next to Madonna, Janet Jackson and Cher.
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