Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism

I think the album is great. I spent yesterday listening to it on a boat cruising around Ha Long Bay, tiddies fully out in the sun (which makes me more than qualified to judge this album of all albums!) and it felt perfect. Shimmering, glittering, perfectly manicured pop as refreshing as the sea breeze through my hair. It’s giving shades of Friendly Fires’ Pala, Niki & The Dove’s Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now, and… a young overweight @RJF watching The Box in 2001 on a hot summer’s afternoon instead of going outside during the school holidays. Yas. There’s not a weak moment here. Immaculate, interesting production and the finest vocals of her career. I think it’s only going to reveal its charms even further as summer rolls on and she starts bringing it alive on stage. I imagine Glastonbury will basically set the whole thing up in the UK perfectly. Give her a perfect summer night that Friday and watch her go.

Following up what is perhaps the finest pop album of the decade so far was always going to be a mammoth task and I do appreciate that the album sounds like it was made… avoiding that pressure. It’s just super light and free of expectations, which makes sense considering she’s so impervious to the noise, which really seems to be riling up the critics this time around. It reminds me of how Honey followed Body Talk, and how the former sounded utterly unbothered at following the latter. I do get the criticisms about the album maybe sounding slight, but I think anything after Future Nostalgia which contained nine massive marquee moments, something more low-key was always going to feel underwhelming at first, but I’m confident this album will grow with the heat in the coming months. And honestly… I hear like four additional singles on this anyway, but what do I know.

She continues to carve out her own shockingly unique path, which I find super intriguing in 2024 where the gold rush to humiliate yourself online for engagement is more depraved than ever. Unconcerned about being… knowable, aspirational brand syncs, a reluctant social media user, a citizen of the world :P, and a really strong curating force with a great ear and great taste. I admire how this album cements all the above. I also do agree with the semi-pejorative idea of this being a bit of transitional, expectation-resetting album, where she’s basically going to do what she wants in the future and this is the first reminder of that. Tour will sell, headline slots will keep coming, and hits will too. Give me a confident step forwards rather than a tentative lateral move any day.

Anyway, making this post has killed a lot of time on my bus trip back to Hanoi. Back to my sojourn from both my life and all of you! Bring on a summer full of this album.
 
I liked it on first listen, but the whole album is sounding ever better two days on. I have so many hooks whirling around my brain. I kind of get some of the criticisms I've read, but pretty much everything on here is a bop. Love it.
This is how I’m feeling about it too. Enjoying it a lot. There’s some strong tracks giving summer bop value for the next few months.

Side note, I actually feel a bit bad for her with all the negativity! She’s just human at the end of the day so hope it isn’t making her feel shit.
 
Album is good but not great. I don't care for Watcha Doing and Anything For Love. Falling Forever and Maria are on par with the singles, which still sound as good as they sounded on their release day. Training Season especially has become one of my favorite tracks of her discography. What's really selling the record are the performances, she sounds and looks amazing.
 
This album is for pretty girls though. Pretty girls traipsing around the city, falling in and out of love, going through the motions of heartbreak but none of it ever really touching you because you’re young and gorgeous and there’s always someone new around the corner. It’s concerned with ~pleasure and nothing else. Because! There is nothing else!

This isn’t an album for people who have never had their erogenous zones played with.
 
Surely her label must be at least somewhat in panic mode at those numbers. I think any suggestion otherwise is kind of baffling. Something isn’t sticking and they surely have to take a step back and take a minute to question why and address it if they are truly dead set on her remaining a notable presence in the US.
 

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