Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

Mainstream pop is one of my least listened to genres of music, that is to say I probably only listen to less harsh noise than radio pop because in the grocery store and the gym they are less likely to have some Merzbow playing.

That said, this Dua Lipa album is my favorite pick in this area from the first half of 2020. Physical has the biggest hook and the Let’s Get Physical Work Out Video is just brilliant. The original one is nice, too, but aesthetically this complements the sound in a great way. (Also, giving this single a comeback with this second music video just before the release of the album was smart as hell.) And Good in Bed is just the most fun track of the lot.

Ultraísta – Sister

Self-defiend as alternative, although I listen to this as pop music to listen to in the background. Probably that’s the fail in positioning: it can easily be too pop for an alternative listener but just weird enough not to be played on mainstream radio. However there’s the one hit wonder track (Tin King), which can make its way to all the commercials and TV series soundtracks to financially support the record.

YONAKA – Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow

Power pop. That kind of band that has a few great and powerful tracks, and then an album packed with the same stuff with minor differences, which feels repetitive. Probably this is the kind of pop music that’s better and just enough in single format. They should write and focus on pop hits and there’s no need to push out a bunch of fillers just to make it a long player’s length worth.

Alice Merton – Mint

I was thinking how are some of these tracks  so familiar? Then I realized No Roots is a single from 2017, and a soundtrack on The Blacklist, and I also heard her perform live last year. And then I remembered that her concert was raw, under-produced and kind of amateur, which is a striking contrast to what I hear on this record. Her quality as a pop music performer and the stage presence of her band were so much out of sync, and this new debut album underlines this again, at least the part about her potential. I wonder if she will drop her skin and move on with a professional band at some point, or will choose a non-mainstream route and stick with the “high school sweethearts”.