For an artist with only one album to her name, Dua Lipa has an astoundingly strong back catalogue. With Future Nostalgia set to drop 3rd April 2020 we thought it was time to order her best songs. We’ll be updating once the record is out.
Dreams has stuck around in the Dua live set and is clearly a favourite of hers. It’s a fun electro-pop track that doesn’t have enough substance to be a single but has just enough grunt to make it memorable.
27. Room For 2
Dua can serve vocals. The way she moves from a whispered chorus to powerhouse verses on Room For 2 is genius. It’s one of the few times we get to truly hear her voice with little production around it.
Another live favourite. Begging probably would’ve been the next single off Dua Lipa had she had another crack. It’s an exuberant pop song with an instantly anthemic chorus.
25. No Goodbyes
One day Dua is going to smash it out of the park with a Mariah-sized ballad. Until then, we have No Goodbyes. It’s a thundering, sturdy song that sees Dua dig her heels in vocally and go for it.
24. Thinking ‘Bout You
This has become a sentimental fan favourite but it’s Dua’s weakest single. It gave fans an early chance to acclimatise to that smokey voice but that’s just about all that carries it.
23. New Love
New Love was our first introduction to Dua and it painted her as a polaroid-ready, Urban Outfitters girl. She’s since evolved but New Love is still a sweet, lovelorn bop.
22. Last Dance
Last Dance was done dirty by being left off the main tracklist of Dua Lipa. It was overpowered by Be The One‘s slow rise up the charts but it’s a punchy, exciting pop song that could’ve had some chart success.
Dua played this one live a few times before it became an album opener and it immediately stood out. Written by a similar team that worked on Physical, it’s an emotive and rich cut that utilises every vocal texture. “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, for what it’s worth I think that he might’ve created you first” is an excellent opening statement.
20. Good In Bed
Dua has become lyrically daring over time and Good In Bed is proof of that. It’s a naughty, Lily Allen-tinged cut that bleeds with charisma. While it may not be the star of Future Nostalgia, it happily sits at the back of the class throwing paper planes.
19. Blow Your Mind (Mwah)
By the time Blow Your Mind (Mwah) dropped it was already obvious that Dua was going to be a big deal. This is the sort of song that can only be carried by someone with natural charisma and Dua gave it the sass that it needed.
18. Kiss & Make Up
Not releasing this as a single was a tragedy. Even without BLACKPINK, this is one of the most effortlessly likeable Dua singles. The fact that she had the power of K-Pop behind it too means this could’ve shot into the stratosphere.
17. Future Nostalgia
The title track off Dua’s sophomore record could be the strangest thing she’s ever released. It’s a retro flavoured jam that boasts about how ahead of the curve it is. It’s a difficult juxtaposition to get your head around but it’s kitsch enough to be convincing. An exciting sign that Dua is not satisfied following pop’s current rule book.
16. Pretty Please
A personal favourite that gets lost among the bigger moments of Future Nostalgia. It’s the subtle anomaly of the bunch but it shines by itself. Some of Dua’s most textured vocal work is in here, her restraint cultivating a sweaty, frustrated scene.
15. Lost In Your Light (Feat. Miguel)
Dua and Miguel’s vocals together are a match made in heaven. The weighty, ’80s backdrop is also the perfect arena for them to run all over. They never take their foot of the gas and it benefits from the commitment.
14. Scared To Be Lonely (W/ Martin Garrix)
Dua had no right to serve a stirring club anthem this massive in the early stages of her career. Scared To Be Lonely could be your average, run-of-the-mill EDM cut but at the hands of Dua it becomes an occasion. This song was so good that at its completion Dua and Garrix were smooching for a period.
This song glides. From the very beginning, Dua does away with gravity and introduces us to this surreal space where everything floats from the washy synths to her careful vocal delivery. Levitating is a big pop song but its powers take song time to weave their magic. The end reward is immense though.
Ranking songs by an artist with one full album would be cruel for most but the fact we’re hitting IDGAF at number 8 shows just how strong Dua’s catalogue is. It’s a hard-hitting middle-finger that took Ed Sheeran’s guitar-pop formula and gave it personality. Top it off with a brilliant video and you’ve got yourself an A-grade pop song.
11. One Kiss (W/ Calvin Harris)
This song is admittedly annoying now thanks to a barrage of Dua dancing memes but it ruled the airwaves for a reason. It’s a sweaty, sleek club track that gets under your skin without you even realising. One chorus is all it takes.
We immediately stan a song that serves vocals from the first second. That kind of daring introduction flourishes into a song that’s equally as bold. Using the ’80s as a sonic bed, Dua heats up with, taking no shame in expressing it all.
9. Love Again
Pop music is really this grandiose anymore. Dua said she wants strings, she wants a Your Woman sample and she wants a straight-up disco beat. She got all three and it’s a stunning culmination. Pop hasn’t felt this joyous and rejuvenating in a very long time.
8. Hotter Than Hell
One of the hottest pop songs in recent memory, Hotter Than Hell was an early triumph for Dua. It proved that she wasn’t afraid to go all in with hyperbolic pop, introducing us to a popstar who could command instantly. It’s an international crime that this song didn’t reach the Top 10 anywhere apart from Scotland. Scotland – one of the few places on earth that has never felt heat.
7. Break My Heart
Break My Heart has it all. It’s a decadent but playful disco track that dares to give us everything even if it feels like too much. It has that sweeping bridge and that straight-to-the-brain hook, delivered all with an impossible cool. There’s every chance that this could become the biggest hit off Future Nostalgia.
The SG Lewis-produced wildcard of Future Nostalgia is the most intentional banger Dua has ever made. That four-to-the-floor beat kicks in immediately and rattles the speakers. Meanwhile, Dua weaves euphoria with breathy, hypnotizing vocals.
We’re giving ourselves permission to move this one up as it grows older but for now it ranks comfortable among Dua’s best singles. At a time when everyone has moved away from big pop, Dua decided to give us anthemic synths, grunt-filled vocals and a hand-clap bridge. She’s holding nothing back and Physical is a spectacular single.
Read our full review of ‘Physical’.
4. New Rules
The one that did it all for Dua. New Rules wasn’t the obvious breakaway hit from the album but as it spread it made more and more sense. It’s an expertly written pop song that was elevated by a brilliant video promoting the value of female friendship. It was so powerful that Dua became the face of liberating breakup anthems.
3. Electricity (W/ Silk City)
Funny how the greatest song of all time is only the third best Dua song. Electricity is Dua’s only GRAMMY-claiming track and for good reason. It’s a sparkly, retro house track that has surely influenced the sound of Future Nostalgia in some way. There was no one else doing this sort of dancefloor-centric pop but Dua, Mark Ronson and Diplo reminded us how much we needed it.
2. Be The One
A jubilant entrance to the pop scene, Be The One is one of the finest debut singles of all time. It came at a time when Dua could’ve either been a massive popstar or an alternative darling. Her career obviously took the path of the former and it seems obvious now listening to the Be The One back. It’s a twinkling, rich pop song that makes the hairs on your neck stand up as soon as she sings, “I see the moon.” The first time we heard it we declared Dua the next big thing and even now it’s enough to get us excited. Future Nostalgia will offer up challengers but Be The One will always feel like Dua in her purest form.
1. Don’t Start Now
The second album is difficult particularly when you’ve put yourself in a position where you’re entering it at the current peak of your career. Dua took the challenge valiantly, returning with a disco-flavoured, middle-finger that continued her break-up queen status. It still feels as exciting now as it did on the first listen.
Get the full playlist here: