Three years in the past, Dua Lipa gifted us with one of many strongest dance-pop albums of the previous decade on the exact second we had been all caught inside. Future Nostalgia, the U.Ok. pop star’s sophomore album, arrived in March 2020 simply because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world it was coming into, providing glossy escapism throughout a hellish international interval. As quarantine dissipated, Lipa’s music naturally made the leap from cooped-up bed room dance breaks to packed golf equipment and area reveals, the thrills of her unflappable supply and refrain development translating to giant crowds and turning Lipa right into a celebrity.
Whereas her new single “Houdini,” which kicks off her third album period, arrives with loads of anticipation, Lipa’s Barbie soundtrack single “Dance The Night time” — which has blossomed into one of many larger hits of 2023 — supplied a delicate trace on the route wherein the 28-year-old is steering her discography. Future Nostalgia is each behind and in entrance of Lipa: she is tinkering with the perimeters of common dance music, refining her pop stylings, doubling down on a profitable sound whereas heightening its stress factors. “Houdini” is a right away blast, but it surely’s additionally a high-wire act, every second whirring with manufacturing tidbits that coalesce right into a three-minute wallop.
Working with producers Danny L Harle and Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker, Lipa operates above a thicket of nu-disco prospers whereas deploying the titular metaphor to demand that nobody waste her time (“I’m not right here for lengthy / Catch me or I’m going Houdini,” she declares). From the opening seconds, “Houdini” establishes a deep, neck-snapping rhythm as its basis — followers of Tame Impala’s “Is It True” may even be getting down with this sick beat — after which the track provides star-crossed synths, call-and-response harmonies and fuzzed-out riffs. But Lipa’s regular sense of cool is definitely the glue of the one, able to knocking that hook into your mind in addition to make a line like “Possibly you can trigger a woman to vary… Her! WAYS!” sizzle on the bridge.
A few of us should wait till subsequent summer season to expertise “Houdini” as a staple of seashore playlists and yard barbecues, however Lipa’s model of pop has confirmed sturdy, and he or she retains sprucing her craft. If the remainder of Lipa’s third full-length is elevated nu-disco within the vein of “Houdini,” we’re in for a hits-packed 2024.