Back in early 2016, I pondered whether a newly debuted singer named Dua Lipa could Be The One.

It’s nearly 2020, and she’s now a Main Pop Girl™.

But with great chart moves comes great responsibility. Accordingly, the pressure was on for the 24-year-old star to deliver with “Don’t Start Now,” the official kick-off to the forthcoming #DL2 era. And she’s done so, spectacularly – with a disco beat, no less.

“Don’t Start Now” feels like a natural continuation of the house music groundwork laid with 2018’s “Electricity” with Silk City. Incorporating bright piano chords and a bassline built for sidewalk strutting (complete with a bit of cowbell, for good measure), Dua’s gone full Disco D – or, more appropriately, Dua Ellis-Bextor.

That’s not to say it’s a direct lift of anything our “Murder on the Donce Floor” Queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s done before, so don’t get it twisted. It just sounds like something Sophie could have easily served up in all of her chilly goodness.

Don’t show up. Don’t come out. Don’t start caring about me now.

Not only is “Don’t Start Now” an especially empowering kiss-off that only gets better with each listen, but the fact that Dua’s one of the industry’s leaders of the moment means that she might effectively bully the rest of the pop girls into putting a little mmmph into their music. (Gay Rights!)

Am I a Basic White Gay for craving real dance music from a pop star again? Sure, fine, I’ll happily take the condemnation. Whatever gets us out of this largely depressed, moody, down-to-midtempo Xanax-pop era. I’m over feeling meh, and I know I’m not alone in that.

Beyond just being a win for the dance floor at large, “Don’t Start Now” is a massive win for Dua as a performer: if you happened to watch the 2019 MTV EMAs on Sunday night (November 3) in Seville, you’d already know that.

What Dua did on that stage, aside from arguably delivering the performance of the night, felt like nothing short of #JusticeForDua, both in terms of proving the haters wrong and in justifying her positioning as one of the girls on top.

As if a direct response to the countless Twitter memes dragging her dance moves, Dua and her creative team developed a sleek, chic routine that excellently catered to her abilities. Who cares if she’s not Janet Jackson? The choreography felt fierce rather than forced, and plenty of our most beloved pop goddesses, like Kylie Minogue, have proven that attitude, sophistication and even subtle movements go a long way. And not to get too lost in the mix of the visual spectacle: the voice was entirely on point, too.

She looked every bit as assured and in control as “Don’t Start Now” feels, easily making this one of Dua’s best live performances ever. What a way to kick off a new era! Now, bring on the rest of the upcoming record.

Did the heartbreak change me? Maybe…but look at where I ended up.

Not to wish ill of her love life, but if this is the kind of prove-’em-wrong pop star transformation that occurs post-breakup for Dua Lipa, then, well…tread lightly, Anwar Hadid.

“Don’t Start Now” was released on November 1.

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