Club Future Nostalgia: a review of the remix album from Dua Lipa & The Blessed Madonna
It’s only been 6 months since Dua Lipa put an indelible stamp on pop culture and established herself as a superstar to watch with her second studio album Future Nostalgia. However, the COVID-19 pandemic largely paused Lipa’s plans to heavily promote the album as likely intended. Inspired by her fans’ enjoyment, Lipa connected with American DJ The Blessed Madonna to create a mixtape that would “take the party up a notch”. The result was Club Future Nostalgia, a remix album, which is a concept that recalls the 80s and 90s itself when such a practice was ubiquitous and fits perfectly with Lipa’s intentions to create an era that feels nostalgic yet new.
The album kicks off with Lipa welcoming listeners to Club Future Nostalgia, before leading off into a bevy of remixes of the original songs from its parent album, as well as a few additional unreleased tracks such as “That Kind of Woman”, remixed here by Stuart Price under his Jacques Lu Cont moniker, and “Love Is Religion”, remixed by the album’s host The Blessed Madonna. Lipa also slots in a remix of “Kiss and Make Up”, her collaboration with BLACKPINK, and invites icons such as Madonna, Missy Elliott, and Gwen Stefani to take turns hopping in to contribute their own fun verses on the project. Lipa samples classics such as Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” prompted by Mark Ronson, who is responsible for the “Physical” remix Stefani appears on, and “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks. Dimitri From Paris mashes-up “Break My Heart” with Jamiroquai’s “Cosmic Girl” on a splendid remix.
Lipa’s announcements, as well as scratches and the seamless transition between songs, helps to transform the original album into a fusion of radio station and DJ set that captures its retro influences and stylings, underscoring Lipa’s vision for the era. The Blessed Madonna assists Lipa in transporting listeners to the nightclubs they’re not currently able to physically attend, creating a sweaty and seductive atmosphere full of house music and electronic music as a whole, celebrating the genre with collaborators and DJs who offer a diverse approach to the genre. Lipa doesn’t just sit back either and rest on her laurels, often re-recording vocals such as on the Mr. Fingers remix of “Hallucinate” where her original diva-esque vocal is switched out for a sexed-up whisper, or on the “Physical” remix where she trades off lines with Stefani, weaving her into the track.
Overall, Club Future Nostalgia is an oddly avant-garde offering from a popstar who continues to flaunt her knowledge of music & use it to her advantage. Lipa offers a chance for DJs and artists to shine and introduce themselves to audiences who might not otherwise seek them out, trading in on her superstar status. It’s a gamble that largely pays off, allowing Lipa to continue positioning herself as an interesting voice in pop music and casting the original album in a new light, giving one of the year’s best pop albums a refreshing multifaceted makeover for listeners until the world is ready again for Lipa to continue her global pop domination.