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Dua Lipa, 'Dance the Night'

"Do you guys ever think about dying?" asks Barbie. In the trailer for Greta Gerwig's forthcoming blockbuster, the all-too-familiar blonde bombshell (played by Margot Robbie) says this line in the middle of a dance floor and all of the dolls turn around in shock. Death? On the dance floor?!

Such is the crux of the movie's plot, the idea that a toy like Barbie — the mass-produced miniature embodiment of America's feminine ideal for, what, how many decades now? — might be changing, contemplating more existential horrors in her newly animated rubber brain. That's an alien mode of thinking in Barbie world, where every moment is only ever fizzy, fun and highly accessorized. What more could you ask for?

And who better than to capture what that world might sound like than Dua Lipa, our early quarantine pop savior, in the big single "Dance the Night" from the movie's forthcoming original soundtrack. "My hеart could be burnin', but you won't see it on my face," she sings, on a sparkly disco-pop number that falls neatly in line with her former discography and recent, peppy genre-reviving peers Lizzo and Jessie Ware. "I'll still keep the party runnin', not one hair out of place." It's familiar, but undeniably glamorous, whether you're 6 years old or 30. And it's a song that certainly wouldn't soundtrack a single tear falling on a dance floor, because, girl, we do not produce tears here in Barbie world. Don't you forget it.

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Hazel Cills is an editor at NPR Music, where she edits breaking music news, reviews, essays and interviews. Before coming to NPR in 2021, Hazel was a culture reporter at Jezebel, where she wrote about music and popular culture. She was also a writer for MTV News and a founding staff writer for the teen publication Rookie magazine.