In 2017, after years of promotional buildup and an unbroken streak of hit singles, English singer Dua Lipa became a veritable superstar, conquering the pop landscape with a near-perfect debut and racking up additional chart smashes as an in-demand guest vocalist. At the turn of the decade, she returned with her sophomore effort, Future Nostalgia. Without collapsing under the pressure of high expectations, Lipa managed to deliver a package that was somehow sleeker, cooler, and more compulsively listenable than her first outing. In the spirit of pulse-pounding classics like Kylie Minogue's Fever or Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor, Lipa channeled the best of past decades -- '70s disco, '80s dance-pop, and '90s club jams -- to create her own joyous, sweat-glistened vision of bliss. Not a moment is wasted here, and Future Nostalgia is a brisk and breathless experience that begs to be played on loop. With an endless supply of confidence, charm, and cooler-than-you attitude, Lipa pulls listeners onto the dancefloor with immediate earworms like the funky kiss-off "Don't Start Now," the rapturous out-of-body rave "Hallucinate," and the glistening full-body workout "Physical," a distant cousin of Madonna's "Hung Up" and Lady Gaga's "Applause." At the end of the night, when things transition to the bedroom, Lipa offers the begging "Pretty Please" and the giddily horny "Good in Bed." Throughout, she finds inspiration from the funkiest of forebears, channeling 2000s Timbaland hip-pop on the title track, Daft Punk's own Chic-inspired electro-disco on "Levitating," and even INXS's guitar-based allure with "Break My Heart." She even drops a surprising sample on "Love Again," which fans of the Al Bowlly-sampling White Town one-hit wonder will absolutely adore. Flipping her hair at detractors with a wink and a smile on "Future Nostalgia," she sings, "You want a timeless song/I wanna change the game." With this flawless effort, she manages to achieve both. Future Nostalgia could have just as well been titled "Future Classic."
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung