It goes without saying that pop extraordinaire Dua Lipa dominated music throughout the past year. Seriously, your nan probably knows who she is by now. The release of her sophomore album Future Nostalgia in 2020 propelled her to become one of the most popular female artists in the world right now. We all know the album, it’s great, we get it. But today we’re talking specifically about Future Nostalgia’s videography. Dua has produced some stellar pop music videos throughout the era, so it only seems right to analyse them thoroughly and see which comes out on top. Here’s our definitive ranking:
We’re kicking off the list with ‘Hallucinate’. Don’t get me wrong—it’s one of Future Nostalgia’s best. But the video’s low placement comes purely due to the fact it’s animated. When Dua announced ‘Hallucinate’ as a single back in July 2020, fans were eager for a huge, high-energy video to accompany the track—but this is what we got instead. Fair enough, COVID-19 restrictions at the time may have prevented her making the video she wanted to originally, but it just seems like such potential was lost for what could have been an amazing video for one of the best tracks on the album. It was cute, but nothing more than that.
9. We’re Good
This is a weird one. Obviously deriving influence from Titanic, the ‘We’re Good’ video sees Dua transform into a cruise cabaret star, performing to a ship full of rich diners. The weird part? It follows the journey of a lobster who witnesses its friends getting killed and cooked one by one, realising it’s destined for the same fate. Now, I don’t mind random, quirky music videos with storylines that have zilch to do with the lyrical content, but the whole thing just seemed a little flat. Dua looks gorgeous as always, serving 1920s glamour in vintage Prada gowns pulled straight from the archives throughout the video.
The video for ‘Fever’, an underrated Future Nostalgia single, sees Dua and featured artist Angelè making their way home after a messy night out in Soho, London. As they journey across the city, they tuck into chips in a kebab shop, dance in the rainy streets and end up at a party in a stranger’s living room. It’s relatively toned down compared to the majority of the other videos on the list, but still fun, relatable, and self-aware.
7. Levitating (feat. Madonna and Missy Elliott) [The Blessed Madonna Remix]
The only official single from Club Future Nostalgia, and the only one to get the video treatment, was the ‘Levitating’ remix. There’s applause to be given here for some great visuals, but whatever story the video is trying to tell gets a little muffled after its first half. It seems like a gay love story, but then… weird symbols, glowing crystals and Drag Race star Tayce being beamed down from the sky like an alien. Oh, and the moon explodes. It’s only saved from a bottom three placement because it still looks great whilst making no sense. Bonus points may have been awarded if Madonna had shown up for the video, but she’s nowhere to be seen.
6. Don’t Start Now
Ah, the one that started it all. We all know it. Future Nostalgia’s lead single ‘Don’t Start Now’ presented a whole new artistic side of Dua that I don’t think anyone saw coming. The accompanying music video sees her breaking the fourth wall, grabbing the camera and dragging us around the sweaty club with her as she dances the night away with her girlfriends. Whilst it isn’t anything ground-breaking, it’s unapologetically sassy and aligns perfectly with the song.
‘Prisoner’ is included on Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition, so we’re including it on the list. Dua’s collab with Miley Cyrus was certainly a head-turner, as was the raunchy music video. It follows the girls on the road guzzling drinks from the bottle, on their way to perform at a club, and having fun along the way. The ‘break the internet’ moment was when Miley smeared a bottle of red liquid all over herself, with Dua licking it off her cheek as they leaned in to kiss each other. By the end, they’re performing on stage, signing boobs, and smashing guitars. It’s a real fun time.
4. Levitating (feat. DaBaby)
Thank god the original ‘Levitating’ got its moment to shine. It’s one of, if not the best Future Nostalgia track and most definitely deserved the single and video treatment. This version comes with a feature from DaBaby, and is one of the most joyful, energetic videos of the bunch. The visuals see the Dua and DaBaby dance and rollerblade around a giant, disco-themed elevator, with more people joining the party as the lift goes up. Eventually, they’re transported to a celestial party in the sky, matching the song’s galactic themes and imagery. It’s also worth pointing out that Dua’s makeup is dazzling throughout the video, with sparkling silver eyeshadow that pairs perfectly with her stunning Versace dress.
3. Love Again
Dua Lipa riding a mechanical bull, line dancing and swinging around a Wonder Woman-esque lasso? Count us in. ‘Love Again’, Dua’s latest video release from the Future Nostalgia era, sees her get into her rodeo gear and befriend some cowboys in clown makeup. Oh, and there’s a metaphorical message about falling in love presented through giant eggs? By the end of the video, Dua becomes a clown herself, perhaps because she’s fallen in love again knowing there’s a chance the guy will break her heart all over again. It’s one that requires a few watches to pick up on things and get your head around, but it’s bloody good.
2. Break My Heart
‘Break My Heart’ serves as our runner-up. The video chooses to forego a coherent plot in favor of stunning visuals – and it totally works. The use of colour is gorgeous, and the transitions throughout the video are truly unmatched. Not to mention, Dua is serving some colourful spring fashion, bedazzling us with look after look. The ‘Break My Heart’ video was the one that really solidified Dua as one of the artists making some of the best music videos in the game right now. The extraordinary visual affair paired with vivid colour-blocking and mind-boggling manipulations of space make for a spectacular video worthy of its #2 spot.
So, there we have it. ‘Physical’ is our favourite video from the Future Nostalgia era! The giant set pieces, larger-than-life theatrics, and ecstatic energy make this video unmatched. Seriously, you can’t watch it without feeling euphoric. The video utilises different coloured sets throughout, which Dua’s outfit and make-up magically change to match correspondingly. The hundreds of backing dancers that appear throughout the video and culminate in the glorious final scene also help bring the spectacle to life and allow the video to feel like a rich, high-scale production. Dua truly outdid herself with this one. Iconic.
After 15 months, 10 music videos, and the biggest live-stream performance in history, the Future Nostalgia era is still going strong—and we never want it to end.
Words by Ben Wilkinson
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