Monday, October 10th, 2016

Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)

She sends kisses…


Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Dua Lipa is keeping a pretty solid batting average — not only she hasn’t released a bad single, but every new track feels like an improvement. “Blow Your Mind” gives us Dua’s lush, hefty voice set to some crunchy nu-disco beats and her signature in-your-face drums. It’s quite catchy, and the sassy lyrics sell it completely. The way she goes: “We fight and we argue, you’ll still love me blind/ If we don’t fuck this whole thing up / Guaranteed, I can blow your mind” in the chorus is a bad-ass display of confidence; it’s the kind of confidence you need to ride those gorgeous synth-bass hits. 

Iain Mew: Last time out Dua Lipa’s powerful vocals wrung a lot out of material that couldn’t match her intensity. This time there’s no need to work so hard, but as she relaxes into a fun song with a hint of The Fame about it, she’s just as impressive turning her skills to keeping it playful with a suggestion of more.

Thomas Inskeep: I’m not exactly sure how, but this is simultaneously subtle and widescreen; the dynamics here are almost like (early) Pixies-level pop: restrained verses and a big chorus. And that “mwah” gimmick shouldn’t work but totally does. 

Ryo Miyauchi: While some may save the “mwah” as the secret weapon of a pop hook, Dua Lipa’s kiss off sounds more of an afterthought. And it sounds even cockier this way. Her character is already written with enough of a personality for her to not rely on any catchy ad lib to make her theme song pop. But she blows the kiss anyway for the simple fact that she can, like just another of her throwaway gestures to put the attention all on her.

Peter Ryan: The “mwah” is a shameless bit of flexing — “and tonight I’m alive in a dollar sign/guaranteed I can blow your mind” is already some top-notch earwormery, but with punctuate it with the actual sound of kissing the haters goodbye and I am fully vanquished. I’m guilty of finding some of her previous singles a bit leaden, but from go this has a healthy dose of kineticism, building from the bed of accented sixteenth picking that underpins the verse up to a syncopated sunburst of a chorus. It crackles with easy confidence, but above all else it works because Lipa sounds like she’s having way more fun than the critics.

Hannah Jocelyn: Part of what made Dua Lipa’s “Be The One” so good is how effortless it was, and while follow-up “Hotter Than Hell” definitely sounded fussier, it still left enough space for Dua’s yelps to stand out. This new one is clearly a result of too much effort, with none of the playfulness of her other songs. That “mwah” tries to be playful, but it doesn’t work. The backing track seems to ignore the “mwahs” — why not have it drop out every fourth bar? Or add some Swiftian “heys” in the first half of the chorus, because for all the percussion, it still sounds like it needs more layers? It’s possible that this is a grower, but I expected something more interesting from Dua.

William John: A serviceable bop with one curiosity; the post-chorus hook, delivered with delightful nonchalance, almost sounds like Lipa is celebrating being in a dollar sign, which I initially regarded as some sort of anti-“Cheap Thrills” teenspeak for 2on-ism with coin. Closer inspection reveals that Lipa is asserting that she “ain’t,” in fact, “a dollar sign,” which is perfectly sensible in context (her album, after several push-backs, finally has a release date; the bad news is it’s 10 February 2017, still four months away, which smells strongly of corporate industry idiocy). Whether this pop Esperanto was merely coincidental or a cleverly disguised cry for help is anyone’s guess, but I find Lipa’s voice likeable enough to be impressed by the double entendre.

Tim de Reuse:  A lot of pop is unconvincingly braggadocious in that paradoxical “Here’s three verses about how great I am but I still don’t care what you think” kinda way, you know? Dua Lipa sidesteps that by being less confrontational and more confident, teasing and grinning the whole way through. My favorite little detail: the titular “mwah” is replicated in both stereo channels, tweaked to be unpleasantly crisp, with its highest frequencies pinching at your eardrums. It’s a cocky production move, to be sure, but it’s a friendly challenge instead of a “fuck off.”

Edward Okulicz: Best “mwah” in a song since Holly Valance danced in her pants. It’s so casual that she can’t be doing anything other than laughing at you, especially the very last one in the song. Elsewhere it’s a crisp bit of electropop which bowls me over with a quality chorus, and then unleashes the gimmick immediately. There’s something about her accent that I find a bit dorky but still brash and confident at the same time.

Adaora Ede: Dark moombahton merging into electropop may be more conventional than appears. It’s songs like this from teenage/twentysomething talent that make me yearn for 2013, where Young Pop’s perspective was altered by the introduction of artpop in the realm of Lorde. “Mwah” is not as visceral as the introductory music implies; Lipa quickly skips beat into a chorus that can be compared solely to something out of a Zayn song; whether that is a good or bad thing is entirely up to y’all. There’s nothing alternative about chambré tropical house anymore, kids! Still, Dua Lipa delivers her self-imposed indietronica kid sound through her vocals, which offer more than enough bombast to get through a dicey cliché of a bridge.

Alfred Soto: Proud of her husky cyborg drag queen, Dua Lipa goes for the open Kesha-Britney market using Weeknd synths for the verses and K-pop sawtooth synths for the choruses. As generic as it looks on paper, Lipa gives the impression that she blows air kisses around your cheeks and actually says “mwah.”

Reader average: [8.66] (6 votes)

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6 Responses to “Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)”

  1. That scratchiness in her voice is fucking grating

  2. s/o edward for that holly valance reference

  3. was not expecting to like this song as much as I do

  4. Hmm, i always assumed this song was about her trying to seduce a partner. I guess if if the song’s theme is ‘not caring 4 tha h8ters lolz’ then it does it in a less obnoxious, hateful way than a lot of these songs often tend to do it.

    I’m looking at you, ‘It’s My Party’.

  5. …mwah.

  6. Still don’t love this song, but I agree with Troye Sivan (whose twitter feed is wonderful and everyone should follow it)