Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism

After a couple full listens it's giving poppier Solar Power. Which is not meant derogatory because I think there's a lot of hand wringing done over that album! It's more so meant in how both albums attempt to capture an intangible vibe. Where the disconnect comes for me is that said vibe feels a bit upper class locked and in turn, singular. This is for the girls who make upwards of six figures and vacation more than they staycation, meanwhile I can't remember the last time I was on a beach. I recognize what is hindering my own engagement with this album stems from these factors. I respect it as a significantly more interesting artistic pivot than what was probably expected post-Future Nostalgia, and I'm giving it room to grow. I just wish some of the album tracks were connecting the same way the best of them did last go around.
Your points are very valid, but you in danger, girl. I don't mind that the album has vacation vibes, but I do find the "some people haven't had a vacation because they don't like this album or Dua is just being a goddess on vacation getting that good D and y'all are not" jokes a little tone-deaf.
 

Rmx

He/Him/His
Falling Forever >>>>

Cause for now you're
All I want
'till Tomorrow
And Beyond?

How Looooooooo~

ascend-winnie-the-pooh-ascend.gif
 
he/him
The thread has a tendency to run certain in-jokes into the ground quickly (i.e. "she's re-recording the album because X, Y, Z") but I feel like the glib "some of you never spent time sun-kissed on the beaches of Ibiza and it shows!" jokes are just an extension of the recurring theme of Dua being on a mission to fill up her passport for the last three years and not much deeper than that. Like, I get it but also, as someone not even in the same area code as her tax bracket, it doesn't bother me, personally.
 
Right on! First listen of Radical Optimism.
I am simple a “I like, I dont care, I elevate” kind of guy.

Besides the singles, my favorites so far are:

These Walls
End of An Era
Falling Forever (aw get that upbeat!)


Happy for You sounds so 2002! in a good way.
 
It's a solid record. Not sure it's grabbing me quite like Future Nostalgia did at this stage though.

I could do without 'Anything for Love' - I'm not really a fan of those 'faux' intros/outros and I think the song itself doesn't do much to make it stand out. It could easily just be something lifted off her first record. That said, it's so short that I can listen without feeling the need to skip.

Outside of the singles, I think 'These Walls' is my favourite and I really enjoy 'French Exit', 'Falling Forever', 'Maria' and 'Happy for You'.

So, whilst I don't think it's as ''edgy'' / exciting as the majority of Future Nostalgia, it's a very good pop album with only really one dud for me.
 
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I guess I understand why some felt the need to drag Lorde over those emails and music enjoyment in general is a very subjective experience, but like… a big pillar of pop music is how aspirational it can be. We wouldn’t know peace if we had to bring up “it’s a bit upper class of her” type of critique every time a pop star filmed a music video on a beach or alluded to their wealth in any way.

This album isn’t even about her being in the Mediterranean all the time. It just sounds like that lifestyle and the accompanying shoot in Ibiza is what perfectly captured said sound, so.
 
Am I the only one who gets a little annoyed by the lack of low end in Kevin Parker's production? It's not just an issue here but in everything he produces. There's just never enough bass, or it's not balanced enough?

The album is good, but I don't think it's great. Many of these songs will probably grow on me, but the overall vibe is slighter than Future Nostalgia and there's a feeling of unmet expectations I just can't shake. I feel like I'm one of those who got baited by the references she was namedropping, which are absent in the music other than a whisper here and there. Future Nostalgia also wasn't a perfect record, but the overwhelming wattage of the great songs more than made up for the (almost universally agreed upon) weak spots. And it absolutely nailed its brief.
 
Am I the only one who gets a little annoyed by the lack of low end in Kevin Parker's production? It's not just an issue here but in everything he produces. There's just never enough bass, or it's not balanced enough?

The album is good, but I don't think it's great. Many of these songs will probably grow on me, but the overall vibe is slighter than Future Nostalgia and there's a feeling of unmet expectations I just can't shake. I feel like I'm one of those who got baited by the references she was namedropping, which are absent in the music other than a whisper here and there. Future Nostalgia also wasn't a perfect record, but the overwhelming wattage of the great songs more than made up for the (almost universally agreed upon) weak spots. And it absolutely nailed its brief.
It helped that Future Nostalgia's weak spots were the last two songs, so I could just pretend they were bonus tracks and enjoy my all killer, no filler 9 tracker.
 
He / Him / His
I actually enjoy this a lot and I’ll get a tonne of mileage from it but I do sorta think the album as a whole suffers from a similar issue I’ve had with the latter two singles where the window dressing feels more interesting than the bare bones of the tracks themselves. ‘End of an Era’, ‘Maria’ and ‘Houdini’ feel like exceptions where the influences and hooks come together pretty perfectly but I do feel like the songwriting and melodies let this down a touch on the first few listens through.

I’m not disappointed by any stretch and don’t doubt it will reveal itself more to me over time but I’m not sure it sticks the landing for me, despite a lot of the sonic influences here being right up my alley.
 
I think there’s maybe a little dichotomy going on between the fact that the album is great but maybe lacking a couple of monster 11/10 mainstream smashes, and the huge rollout currently going for it and for Dua as a superstar.

For all the false starts and hiccups initially, she’s going to be pretty much everywhere and has high-profile media/partner support worldwide - but it’s not backing a huge, undeniable smash that has fully connected like Levitating, Don’t Start Now or even Dance the Night did.

Which of course makes me think if only all this heavyweight visibility could’ve been thrown at an enormous hit, she’d probably be on another imperial phase.

But she’ll be fine, album is very good, tour will sell out and she will probably release the next album in quicker succession.
 
Anything for love could have been my favourite song on here if it wasn’t so short. Why Dua WHY????

Whatcha Doing is really growing on me.
 
He/Him/His
I guess I understand why some felt the need to drag Lorde over those emails and music enjoyment in general is a very subjective experience, but like… a big pillar of pop music is how aspirational it can be. We wouldn’t know peace if we had to bring up “it’s a bit upper class of her” type of critique every time a pop star filmed a music video on a beach or alluded to their wealth in any way.

This album isn’t even about her being in the Mediterranean all the time. It just sounds like that lifestyle and the accompanying shoot in Ibiza is what perfectly captured said sound, so.
Right? I need some of you to be so serious. They're little pop songs about breaking up and dancing. If you can empathize with a Beyoncé song about motherhood or an Ariana song about her dead boyfriend or Taylor's unhinged manifestos, you can mentally escape to a fucking Dua Lipa song
 

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