Dua Lipa Strengthens the Legacy of “Future Nostalgia” with “The Moonlight Edition”


Dua Lipa releases “The Moonlight Edition,” the deluxe edition of her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia.” (Courtesy of Facebook)

There’s no denying that Dua Lipa killed the pop game in 2020. Her sophomore album, “Future Nostalgia,” released last March, dominated the charts thanks to hits like “Break My Heart” and “Don’t Stop Now.” Now, Dua Lipa is riding the success of “Future Nostalgia” into 2021 with the release of a deluxe edition of the six-time Grammy-nominated album on Feb. 12. 

The deluxe edition, titled “The Moonlight Edition,” features eight new tracks, four of which are never before heard B-cuts. The other four are singles she released or collaborated on in the past year. The previously-released tracks include “Levitating” featuring DaBaby, “Fever” featuring Angèle, “Un Día,” Lipa’s collaboration with J Balvin and Bad Bunny and “Prisoner,” Lipa’s feature on Miley Cyrus’ 2020 album “Plastic Hearts.” 

The new tracks include the project’s lead single “We’re Good,” along with “If It Ain’t Me,” “That Kind of Woman” and “Not My Problem” featuring JID. These four new tracks are generally cohesive with the 1970s/1980s vibe of the initial release of “Future Nostalgia,” although the places where Lipa does divert from the project’s original theme are a refreshing look at the breadth of her musical talent.

“We’re Good” features more of a rock vibe than many of the songs on “Future Nostalgia,” with a melodic guitar instrumental that grows more punk as the song reaches its chorus. Lipa’s strong vocals sit beautifully on top of the quirky, islandy instrumentals as she tells the story of an amicable breakup. She sings, “No need to hide it, go get what you want / This won’t be a burden if we both don’t hold a grudge” in the track’s verse and then goes on to declare, “We’re not meant to be like sleeping and cocaine” in the chorus. The song ultimately centers around a peaceful breakup with a lover— something many optimistically hope for but never can achieve. The blunt ending of “We’re Good” symbolizes how quickly a breakup can become dramatic and toxic, even if there was once hope for tranquility.

Lipa released a music video to accompany the release of “We’re Good,” which features a story centering around a lobster on the Titanic. While at first glance, the premise of the video seems odd, it actually is quite fitting for the theme of the song. The video begins with Lipa performing at an elegant restaurant on a cruise ship, later revealed to be the Titanic. The camera then cuts to a fish tank in the restaurant containing a few lobsters. All but one lobster is removed from the tank and dropped into a cooking pot. The lone remaining lobster narrowly avoids being turned into dinner when the stove refuses to light, and he is safely placed back in his tank. Water then rushes into the restaurant, flooding and sinking the ship. As Lipa sings from a lifeboat, the lobster is seen swimming in the ocean, symbolizing that even in something as tragic as the sinking of the Titanic, something good happened. “We’re Good” ultimately shares the same message — a breakup might seem tragic, but sometimes things have to come to an end in order for good to come.

“We’re Good” is followed by “If It Ain’t Me,” a groovy record reminiscent of the disco vibes in the original release of “Future Nostalgia.” Lipa contradicts her dreams of an amicable breakup on this track as she sings, “Baby, don’t you let go / The thought of you with someone kills me.” While many fans speculated that the track would feature former Fifth Harmony star Normani, “If It Ain’t Me” works well as a solo track for Lipa, as her smooth vocals stand out over the stellar production.

Lipa slightly diverts from the upbeat pace of “Future Nostalgia” on “That Kind of Woman.” The track starts off a bit slower, with Lipa stretching her vocals out over brilliant ’80s-esque production from Stuart Price and Justin Parker. As the production speeds up and brings in heavier drums, Lipa asserts her confidence and attempts to prove why she is worthy of the love of the person she is lusting over. She sings, “There’s only one out here for ya / You’re gonna reminisce that you once met a girl like this.”

The final new track on “The Moonlight Edition,” “Not My Problem,” is a clear contrast from the songs preceding it, with its modern pop flare. Lipa’s sassy personality is on full display on the track, with the unique, rhythmic production complementing her attitude well. However, the track feels a bit out of place on “Future Nostalgia,” as it lacks the project’s distinct throwback vibe.

While Lipa does deliver with the B-cuts she brought on “Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition),” it is a bit disappointing that this deluxe version of her iconic sophomore album only features four completely new songs. However, for the most part, the bonus cuts she added seamlessly fit within the identity of Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” era. “The Moonlight Edition” extends Dua Lipa’s victory lap and leaves behind a legacy for “Future Nostalgia” that will go on for years.