Dua Lipa Channels ABBA on Pulsating New Song ‘Training Season’: Single Review

Few artists have ever fused pop and dance music as fluidly as ABBA, and their influence is writ subtly but large on Dua Lipa’s new single “Training Season” — the second from her still-untitled forthcoming third album — which was previewed during her performance at the Grammy Awards earlier this month.


Driving but not as in-your-face as its predecessor “Houdini,” the song struts along on a powerful disco beat, with a melody that swerves into almost Middle-Eastern scales, reminiscent of ABBA’s biggest disco hits, “Voulez-Vous” and “Gimme Gimme Gimme.” While the initial influence is subtle, it’s unmistakable, and is driven home later in the song with piano flourishes that recalls ABBA keyboardist Benny Andersson’s on many of the group’s hits, most famously “Dancing Queen.” It’s the best kind of tribute: nothing overt, but a sly, fun wink for fans who notice it.


Her collaborators on the song are the same as “Houdini”: Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Caroline Polachek/ Charli XCX collaborator Danny L. Harle (who produced) along with cowriters Tobias Jesso Jr. (Adele, Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus) and Caroline Ailin (who’s cowritten several Lipa hits).

And the video is an awesome commentary on the rigors of dating, which are reflected in her comments about the making of the song.

“I had been on a string of bad dates, and the last one was the final straw,” Dua says in the announcement. “The next morning I arrived to the studio to [cowriters] Caroline and Tobias asking me how it all went and I immediately declared ‘TRAINING SEASON IS OVER,’ and like the best ‘day after’ debriefs with your mates, we had a lot of laughs and it all quickly came together from there.”

She continues, “And while it is obviously about that feeling when you are just absolutely done telling people…men specifically in this case, how to date you right; it is also about my training season being over and me growing with every experience. I have never felt more confident, clear or empowered. And while it may be that training season is never over for any of us, you start to see the beauty in finding that person to experience it with. You stop looking for the trainees and become more interested in having someone where you are and someone to grow with.”





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