The Dallas String Quartet returns with a cover of Dua Lipa’s hit single “Love Again.” While the group hasn’t released a full-length album since 2019’s A Very Merry Christmas with Dallas String Quartet, they no doubt kept busy through 2020 with a series of covers ranging from Lady Gaga’s and Arianna Grande’s smash “Rain on Me”, Shawn Mendes’ “Lost in Japan” and this actually isn’t even their first time covering Lipa a memorable component of her discography as last year they also covered the TikTok viral sensation “Don’t Start Now.”
At this point, the group has the art of covering down to a science, and unlike a lot of tackier covers that sound like they’re trying to not be struck with some sort of copyright claim, the Quartet knows exactly which components to lean into and adjust that don’t end up leaving the song static or like the musical equivalent of a shot-for-shot film remake. It’s been a wonderful tonic that the group has chosen to release covers of uplifting hits rather than lean into the more somber elements I think most associate with the dramatic aspects of string compositions. The end result is just unbridled, un-ironic glee, like the group showed up late to the party, but only because they brought the best drinks to the joint. This track has this impeccable combination of sturdiness in its confident production but this almost free-flowing playfulness to the way they handle their violins like at any moment it could veer off into improvisation, but the group know exactly what they’re doing, leading you on with the (future) nostalgia that comes with the song. Google the name of Dua Lipa’s album if you don’t get that dumb gag.
The group is far and away from being novices coasting on some flashy tricks as they’ve been seasoned performers having entertained both former Presidents Bush and Obama as well as various sports associations and having worked with legends like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That certainly has a big part as to why their mixing and mastering has such a crisp clarity to it, never letting the various intricate elements overpower or fight for attention. Everything is wildly complementary and leads to a more than satisfying listening experience.
The way they’re able to make their strings speak in a way is incredible, channeling the emotions and cadence of when Lipa sings “but goddamn, you got me in love again” an apt description for how I feel about this release. I can’t really recall the last time a string instrumental heavy that’s broken through to mainstream since Lindsay Stirling, but my hope is that with single drops like this that will hopefully gain more exposure, we can see the band expand to more ambitious projects and I’d really love to seem them craft some original tracks as well. It’s not every day you get such a niche group that has tapped into the ability to make something feel so universal. Pop fans and classical instrumentalist fans and all of those in-between will find plenty to love here.
by Wyatt Kennedy