Reviews

Dua Lipa – Radical Optimism Album Review

Radical Optimism

Artist: Dua Lipa
Genres: Pop
Release Date: 5/3/2024
Track Count: 11
Explicitness: explicit
Copyright: Under exclusive license to Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited, ℗ 2024 Radical22 Limited with the exception of Track 2 ℗ 2023 Radical22 Limited

Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 23, 2024
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Dua Lipa’s Radical Optimism is her third studio album and an exceptional piece of work. The English-Albanian singer worked with renowned producers such as Kevin Parker, Danny L. Harle, Ian Kirkpatrick, and Andrew Wyatt to create an incredible album. Warner Records released The album on May 3 3, 2024, marking Lipa’s first full-length studio album release in four years since Future Nostalgia (2020). The release of the album was preceded by three singles: “Houdini,” “Training Season,” and “Illusion.” Overall, taking a cue from her last project, Radical Optimism is a remarkable addition to Dua Lipa’s discography and an excellent album that deserves all the praise it can get.

Album Art

Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 23, 2024
Spotify

Dua Lipa’s latest album art, captured by Tyrone Lebon, is a stunning portrayal of radical optimism. She is seen standing in the water with clear blue skies above and birds flying around her while an approaching shark swims across. Lipa remains composed and calm despite the potential danger, gracefully navigating through the chaos. In her own words, the album title encapsulates the notion of being able to weather any storm with confidence and positivity.

Tracks And Features

The album opens with the track “End of an Era” and sets a lively and upbeat mood for the rest of the album. The psychedelic and candy-like sounds of the song, reminiscent of The Avalanches, take the listener on a journey of irresistible sounds. Although the song takes a different turn, it remains a memorable track. Despite some talk of Britpop, the album has a distinctly European sound, which is a testament to the contributions made by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Caroline Ailin, Danny L Harle, and Tobias Jesso Jr.

The lead track, “Houdini,”  stands out, featuring icy synths and a powerful beat that will get you moving. Interestingly, the lyrics add a personal touch to her third album’s hard-edged, darting lead single. As she often does, Lipa challenges her partner to impress her before she disappears. Lipa herself is an intriguing and elusive figure but not necessarily reclusive.

One of the standout tracks is “Illusion,” a song featuring Lipa’s vocal virtuosity and a Euro-pop sound reminiscent of bell-ringing. The lyrics taunt a man who thinks he can outsmart Lipa but ultimately fails to do so. The track climaxes with a colourful synth burble, which sounds like a stripped-down filter house or heavy-handed French touch.

Another notable song on the album is “Training Season.” This track aims to capture ABBA’s wounded but persistent pride and golden songcraft. It has the same energy as ABBA classics “Lay All Your Love on Me” or “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”. It incorporates Abba and Eurodisco elements into its confident takedown of sub-par men. It’s the most elegant song on the album and will surely get people dancing. Parker’s synths are frequently audible throughout the album, giving “Radical Optimism” a nice analogue sheen. The occasional guitar and some deft retro production details keep the listener engaged without detracting from Lipa’s ability to maintain her reputation as a successful purveyor of romantic reckonings that are easy to dance to.

The song “These Walls” provides a touching and emotional end to “The Winner Takes It All.” However, both songs are densely packed and could benefit from more breathing space. Lipa’s soaring vocals and Parker’s impressive production skills make the songs worthwhile despite this. Some tracks on the album may not be to everyone’s taste, such as the Eurovision-esque “Falling Forever.” However, other songs such as “Whatcha Doing” have a more classic sound, with elegant analogue synth arpeggios and a purring 80s engine.

One of the standout tracks on the album is “French Exit,” which features a sophisticated, string-laden chorus and a funky 80s groove. “Anything for Love” is another impressive track that showcases Lipa’s sweet vocals and ability to evoke romantic emotions. Another album highlight is “Maria,” which features a fast-paced acoustic sound and pays tribute to Lipa’s lover’s ex for making him the man he is today. The album concludes with “Happy for You,” which combines a vulnerable sentiment with a cavernous breakbeat to provide an unusual but satisfying conclusion. While Radical Optimism may seem to be a bit cluttered at times, it is an impressive showcase of Dua Lipa’s versatility and talent. Fans of her music will undoubtedly find something to enjoy on this album.

Tracklist

# Title Artist Duration Status
1 End Of An Era Dua Lipa 3:16 Unreleased
2 Houdini Dua Lipa 3:05 Released
3 Training Season Dua Lipa 3:29 Released
4 These Walls Dua Lipa 3:37 Unreleased
5 Whatcha Doing Dua Lipa 3:18 Unreleased
6 French Exit Dua Lipa 3:21 Unreleased
7 Illusion Dua Lipa 3:08 Released
8 Falling Forever Dua Lipa 3:43 Unreleased
9 Anything For Love Dua Lipa 2:21 Unreleased
10 Maria Dua Lipa 3:07 Unreleased
11 Happy For You Dua Lipa 4:05 Unreleased

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Album Summary

The album “Radical Optimism” by Dua Lipa is a beautiful collection of songs showcasing the artist’s impressive vocal range and ability to create catchy pop tunes that are both danceable and memorable. Lipa’s lyrics speak of weathering chaos gracefully, and the album cover depicts her swimming in shark-infested waters, metaphorically conveying the message of keeping one’s cool during challenging times. Although most songs are about avoiding depth, they are still enjoyable and meaningful. While the album received generally positive reviews from critics upon release, some reviewers have pointed out that it lacked depth or innovation. Nevertheless, it is still a solid album that will delight Dua Lipa’s fans and attract new ones. The album features an eclectic mix of songs that showcase Lipa’s experimentation with different genres. While some tracks may seem excessively busy, several standout moments make the album worth a listen. The Radical Optimism Tour, which starts in June 2024, will support the album, so be sure to catch Dua Lipa live in concert.

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