Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa
This self titled debut record from Dia Lipa has been in the works for some time now. Originally it was to be released back in September of 2016, then February 2017 and finally was released on June 2nd. The delay was pitched as being due to some big name collaborators coming in late in the album process, but Coldplay's Chris Martin and Miguel are the only two collaborators found on the album. The Miguel collab "Lost In Your Light" is an early standout really pushing this synthy dark brand of pop that Dua Lipa is so good at. The song is deep, but not slow giving it a really great vibe even though it doesn't feel like Miguel really puts his stamp on the track. Don't fear though Dua Lipa has bangers aplenty just in time for this summer release. "Hotter Than Hell" is likely going to be blowing up the chars soon, or at least it sounds like it should. Instead of sounding youthful, the album sounds really young like Lipa still has a place to go with her music even if this album is pretty good. Her voice can be cutting at times slicing through any track, or she can take on a more sexy sound. It is a skill that almost every pop star wishes they had, yet very few actually capture. "IDGAF" is a pop song firmly grounded in 2017 with a slightly housey beat and a clear "not giving a fuck" sentiment. However there are times where Lipa's nonchalants is a weakness for the record as she feels like she is lazy on tracks where she really should be blowing everything up.
"Garden" ends up being a bit to sappy for it's own good, but has one of the best vocal performances on the record. "No Goodbyes" similarly tries to force in this tropical house beat that just falls flat. "Thinking 'Bout You" is another song that just feels like it "should" be on an album like this rather than needs to be. Dua Lipa sounds like she really doesn't even care about this person she is thinking about. The first half of this record is far better than the second, as the bangers slowly start to evaporate. With the amount of time put into this album, including it's delays, you would expect it to be super super sharp, but there are more than a few rough edges. Yet the promise is so palpable; Lipa is so talented as a performer that you expect her to make anything work, but there are some things even outside of her abilities. "New Rules" is another tropical house track that never really gets big enough to make the impression it is looking for. The album closes on the Chris Martin collaboration "Homesick" which feels really forced despite sounding pretty ok. It may be an uneven debut but there is definitely something to this record, and more than a few potential hits. This however is not the album that is going to set Dua Lipa on fire, we'll have to wait for that.
7.0 out of 10