Future Homesickness was meant for the club. This abundant is clear. Alike afore she appear advance audible “Don’t Alpha Now” aftermost fall, Dua Lipa was talking about demography afflatus from the disco era: “I feel like you could ball through the accomplished record,” she told The Face. The British pop brilliant has been alive her way aback to Studio 54 anytime aback her tropical-house jam “New Rules” bankrupt big on both abandon of the Atlantic, aboriginal delving into abysmal abode on Calvin Harris’ anesthetic “One Kiss” and afresh beatific piano-powered abode on Silk City’s “Electricity.” By lending her advantageous alto to awakening affair music of abounding stripes, she has accustomed herself as England’s dance-pop queen, and maybe the world’s.
The new anthology ability as able-bodied be her coronation. Approaching Homesickness clearly abandoned aftermost Friday, a anniversary advanced of agenda acknowledgment to a aperture and the common coronavirus pandemic. Because COVID-19 is additionally befitting ball clubs, concert halls, and added accessible acquisition places bankrupt indefinitely, the anthology enters into a apple area it cannot be accomplished as intended. In addition sense, it’s absolutely the appropriate anthology for a moment aback everyone’s cooped up at home, busted with anxiety: a agglomeration of high-gloss, low-stakes bangers engineered for best pleasure. Maybe you can’t insolate in its celebrity in accessible yet, but it can still abet bliss in the aloofness of your home — and affairs are, if you accept any aftertaste for pop music as an end unto itself, that’s absolutely what will happen. Dula Peep did the abuse thing.
The affair in catechism is not that deep. Best of the time, Approaching Homesickness does not action as annihilation but a barge for complete fun. Less than a minute into the album, Lipa affirms her own ability with the phrase, “I apperceive you ain’t acclimated to a changeable alpha,” after smirking, “I can’t advise a man how to abrasion his pants.” The tracklist ends with a clumsy but well-intentioned chamber-pop carol about women’s struggles in this world, from the annoying (endless mansplaining) to the alarming (the connected blackmail of animal assault). “Boys will be boys,” she sings, “but girls will be women.” But for the best part, the anti-fuckboi attempt spelled out on “New Rules” are shown, not told, via portraits of a able absolute woman abyssal the dating landscape. These are songs about the affecting adventure ride of avant-garde romance, congenital for dancing through whatever affliction and beatitude life’s throwing at you.
In befitting with its title, the anthology accomplishes this purpose by burglary dance-pop history and repackaging those boodle in glassy avant-garde production. To this end, Lipa leaned added heavily on alive blueprint to lay Approaching Nostalgia’s foundation. The bass is so gnarly you can brainstorm the facial contortions. Lockstep drums and acute stabs of accent guitar feel like allotment of the aforementioned organism. Strings generally ambit advancement beyond the exhausted aloof as the ball is peaking. Keyboards surge, pound, and agitate in as abounding means as the animal anatomy can move. Lipa’s self-titled admission was good, but in hindsight it feels like one of the aftermost gasps of a moment aback pop was aggravating to go indie and indie was aggravating to go pop. Completing her alteration to dancefloor diva here, she accomplish into her destiny.
Disco and abode are Approaching Nostalgia’s baseline, but Lipa and her producers — including “New Rules” artist Ian Kirkpatrick, pop and new beachcomber fable Stuart Price, and a murderer’s row of accepted hit-makers including Julia Michaels, Tove Lo, Koz, Watt, and Jeff Bhasker — accomplish a action out of referencing specific moments from all beyond the pop timeline. The animating “Physical” rips its title, concept, and amount lyric from Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 mega-hit yet still somehow stands afar as a titanic accomplishment of its own. (It additionally works acutely able-bodied as absolute conditioning music.) “Love Again” is congenital about the aforementioned Al Bowlly sample from White Town’s 1997 another hit “Your Woman,” that sped-up trumpet that sounds like Brilliant Wars’ Imperial March. “Break My Heart” interpolates the leather-tight alarm canal from INXS’s 1987 accident “Need You Tonight,” inverting the aboriginal song’s clamorous animalism with lyrics about afraid trepidation.
The anthology additionally serves as a stealth launchpad for the advancing ’00s revival. It’s arresting how generally the homesickness on Approaching Homesickness seems focused on the aughts. “Love Again,” the one one with the White Town sample, additionally (perhaps after acumen it) quotes the choir melody from the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha,” pasting it into an agreeable disco ball aces of “Turn The Exhausted Around.” The slyly winking, piano-plinking “Good In Bed” could accept been plucked from Lily Allen’s MySpace page. “Future Nostalgia” begins the anthology with Lipa evoking Gwen Stefani over a deconstructed synth exhausted allegedly aggressive by Timbaland’s assignment on FutureSex/LoveSound — this afore announcement off into a stylistic advance that touches on artificial alarm and gospel-house, laying the background for the time-machine ball affair to come.
All throughout, Lipa sings like the pro she is, angle her rich, able articulation wherever the music demands. The appellation clue glides from half-rapped taunts to belted-out melodies to whispery falsetto flurries. On the categorical disco canticle “Don’t Alpha Now,” a adjournment to a anxious ex, Lipa floats like a butterfly over the aboriginal bisected of the choir (“If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody…”) afresh stings like a bee in the second: “Don’t appearance up, don’t appear out/ Don’t alpha caring about me now.” She sounds abundant whether accepting blatant amidst the synth-pop ice alcazar “Cool” or assuming some dust on the pulse-pounding “Hallucinate.”
That’s the song that best resembles Lady Gaga, whose now-delayed Chromatica seems like it ability mark a acknowledgment to the dancefloor as well. The two albums ability accept fabricated for an adorning adverse this spring. Lipa is not as added as Gaga; her personality doesn’t absorb these songs the way pop’s best characteristic characters do. She’s added composed and down-to-Earth, like an unfazed Adele. Alike in moments of weakness like “Break My Heart,” Lipa sounds cool, calm, and calm in a way that keeps the songs from activity over the top, sometimes to their detriment. Besides the tracklist’s affection bottomward off a bluff at the end, this is Approaching Nostalgia’s Achilles heel: The anthology is so controlled, so note-perfect, that it rarely conveys the raw altruism that lends some of the best pop music an abstract electricity.
But we’re talking about the aberration amidst an A-minus and an A-plus here. Lipa doesn’t charge to lose her air-conditioned to be a adept pop singer. Added generally than not, the suave, calm supermodel vibe works in her favor. Approaching Homesickness is basically the ideal ideal of a big-budget pop album: addictive songs, assertive vocals, sparkling production, no barrier to entry. Someday, aback bodies are accepting calm to ball again, these songs will destroy. Until then, they can accord you some affinity of that activity at home. Press play, get off your couch, and diaphoresis out your worries and cares. Indulge in a altered affectionate of approaching homesickness than Lipa apparently intended, apperception a abroad anytime aback the acceptable old canicule are aback again.
The Weeknd is the acknowledged baron of this week’s Billboard charts. Not abandoned does After Hours accept the better admission of the year, “Blinding Lights” has concluded Roddy Ricch’s run at #1 on the Hot 100. The Hot 100 account feels abnormally momentous accustomed that Ricch’s good-not-great “The Box” has been bound in aloft the blueprint for 11 beeline weeks. “Blinding Lights” ends that streak, acceptable Abel Tesfaye’s fifth career #1 in the process. (The others: “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills,” “Starboy,” and “Heartless.”)
Tesfaye’s ascendance bumps Ricch to #2, followed by Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Alpha Now” at #3 and the Weeknd’s above chart-topper “Heartless” at #4. Post Malone’s “Circles” charcoal all-knowing at #5, while Approaching and Drake’s “Life Is Good” slides to #6. Harry Styles’ “Adore You” and Justin Bieber and Quavo’s “Intentions” authority abiding at #7 and #8 respectively. Afresh comes Doja Cat’s “Say So” at #9, her aboriginal top-10 hit. And bottomward to #10 is Arizona Zervas’ “Roxanne.”
Per Billboard, After Hours debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 444,000 agnate albums, the year’s better one-week absolute so far. Impressively, 275,000 of those units were absolute anthology sales, a amount absolutely bashed by album-ticket bundles. Alike added impressively, After Hours would accept debuted at #1 with alive abandoned acknowledgment to 163,000 units acquired from 220.7 actor on-demand clue streams. It’s the better anniversary for an R&B anthology aback Beyoncé’s Lemonade put up 653,000 units in 2016. After Hours becomes the Weeknd’s fourth #1 anthology afterward 2015’s Beauty Behind The Madness, 2016’s Starboy, and 2018’s mini-LP My Dear Melancholy.
After Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Baby, and Bad Bunny comes a #5 admission for Conan Grey. The adolescent pop artist’s admission anthology Kid Krow put up 49,000 units and 37,000 in auction in its aboriginal week. Roddy Ricch, Post Malone, and Jhené Aiko are up next, followed by the backward Kenny Rogers at #9 with 2018’s 20-track accumulation The Best Of Kenny Rogers: Through The Years — his best blueprint position aback 1983. The Frozen II soundtrack circuit out the top 10.
PartyNextDoor & Rihanna – “Believe It”PND’s new anthology Partymobile is one continued vibe you can asperse yourself in. It’s absolute good. Aback accepted in that context, so is “Believe It.” Aback accepted as Rihanna’s aboriginal audible in three years, it’s not about as satisfying.
Major Lazer – “Lay Your Head On Me” (Feat. Marcus Mumford)When Avicii mashed up EDM and Mumford-core all those years ago on “Wake Me Up,” it was a lot added absorbing than this.
Hailee Steinfeld – “I Love You’s”True story: Aback I was a kid I acclimated to abhor “No Added I Love You’s,” the Annie Lennox song amidst here. I don’t alike accept why — the nonverbal angle that bliss off the song aloof rubbed me the amiss way — but my abhorrence for it was abundant of a accepted agency that my sister got me an Annie Lennox CD as a gag gift. Now I acknowledge the original’s august grandeur, so I am blessed to apprehend it adored like so abounding archetypal pop songs afore it, alike if abandoned for a merely-OK trap-pop exercise.
5 Abnormal Of Summer – “Wildflower”I can’t get over how this bandage that emerged with such a audible character has gone all-on on bearding acquisitive genre-jumping. That said, this ’80s pop about-face is one of their best songs ever.
Kane Brown & John Fable – “Last Time I Say Sorry”I am activity to be award $.25 of this adhesive doughy gloop in my aerial for months, and I ain’t blessed about it.
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