Dua Lipa - Club Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa - <i>Club Future Nostalgia</i>

You would think that Dua Lipa would be satisfied dropping the quintessential pop album of the year with the phenomenal Future Nostalgia back in March, but oh no. Instead she has teamed up with The Blessed Madonna to release Club Future Nostalgia, an album of remixes of the original modern pop classic dropped conveniently just as summer ends.

Kicking off with, as all remix albums should, an invitation to the club, Club Future Nostalgia blasts out of the starting gate. With the one-two punch of ‘Future Nostalgia’ and ‘Cool’ (remixed by Joe Goddard and Jayda G respectively), then the incredible mix of ‘Good In Bed’ by Zach Witness and Gen Hoshino setting the frenetic and infectious tempo that lingers throughout.

The twin remixes of ‘Pretty Please’ follow, which are thankfully short as they form the first dip in the album. The latter of the two, mixed by Masters At Work, is better than the former, but neither of them come close to the smooth funky flow of ‘Good In Bed’ or the thumping brilliance of what is to come from the next few tracks.

‘Boys Will Be Boys’ mixed by Zach Witness takes on a Rio Carnival feel, which was a shift so monumental that we were taken entirely by surprise. Frantic drums, whistles, horns, cowbells, and a distorted chanted chorus all come together to create a vast improvement on a song that was already phenomenal to begin with - and all without masking the powerful message of it.

This energy is brought down to a sauntering 80s drawl with ‘Love Again (Horse Meat Disco Remix)’. It’s astounding that they managed to give the song an even more 80s spin than the original version, but it’s clear that a little bit of sampling of the original and bringing in of simple, new melodies can do it. An absolutely breathtaking remix, if truth be told.

Mixed seamlessly into another track that could easily qualify for mash up of the century, smashing together ‘Break My Heart’ and - believe it or not - ‘Cosmic Girl’ by Jamiroquai. This is the remix we all need in 2020, full off unbridled energy and heart-stoppingly upbeat. Dimitri From Paris deserves awards just for the concept of this, let alone the flawless execution.

‘Levitating’ is a weak point here, to be honest. When names like Madonna and Missy Elliott are tied to a song, there’s a certain expectation of greatness that just isn’t achieved here. This could, admittedly, be something to do with a severe bias towards the original, but a lot of what made ‘Levitating’ great on Future Nostalgia is lost in this remix.

It unfortunately stays on the disappointing side, with the first of two versions of ‘Hallucinate’ charging in with a bold Gwen Stefani sample, but then fading to mediocrity for the rest of its run time, and that of the following Paul Woolford remix. ‘Love Is Religion’ continues this arguably dull blip in the album. It’s all functional, but doesn’t match the earlier energy.

The record skipping sound marks a shift in tone for the rest of the album for the better, beginning with the devilishly sultry ‘Don’t Start Now (Yaeji Remix)’. It’s overall a slightly softer affair than the original version, being essentially dragged along by its own drum beat, but it’s easy to see how this track could easily fill dance floors on its own.

Ending with the tempo slowing to a crawl, opening into the Mark Ronson remix of ‘Physical’ and oh boy is this a great mix. Featuring the velvet voice of Gwen Stefani, providing a perfect accompaniment to Dua Lipa herself on what is a far slower rendition of the song. This doesn’t beat the original, per se, but does complete rival it with a markedly different energy.

Both ‘Kiss and Make Up’ and ‘That Kind Of Woman’ are both solid tracks, keenly hitting the club feeling that the album is aiming to hit. However, they’re both arguably a little generic in comparison to some of the high points on here. BLACKPINK are often a revelation when they appear, but the song just doesn’t quite live up to the guest.

Closing our time at Club Future Nostalgia is a second remix of ‘Break My Heart’, this time from Moodymann. This takes the message and feeling of the original song and turns it up to eleven with a sauntering modern dance take. Between this and the previous remix of ‘Break My Heart’ on here, it’s hard not to feel spoiled by the diversity of music on this album.

Overall

Club Future Nostalgia is an eclectic and exciting mix of genres and sounds that squarely hits the mark, just not in quite the same way as its base material. Where Future Nostalgia was a cohesive slice of 80s pop, the remix album suffers from a bit of an identity crisis at times. There are some phenomenal highs here, to be sure, but they don’t quite make up entirely for the lows.

8

out of 10

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