Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism

Yeah she never intended for Future Nostalgia to last as long as it did. In some alternate no-COVID timeline we probably would've gone from Break My Heart to a U.S. tour in spring 2020, Levitating as the final single and then a European leg with promotion for the album ending in spring 2021. A new album in 2022 and then another one now.

It definitely helped her overall career last era and probably hurt the new album a little.
 
Right? The album sounds cohesive to me, the singles make sense with the album tracks. I think the videos having urban settings might be affecting people's perceptions. But to me it's more like... bright sun reflecting off metal and glass, hot concrete, AC units blasting, community swimming pools. Still fits the summertime vibe.
The way the syncopation of Training Season plays off the guitars elsewhere on the album or the way its middle-eight sounds like dramatic bullfighting music. When the sonic vision clicks… yeah… yeah.
 
Yeah, this isn’t meant to be her transition album to a more laidback or alt artist with more muted success. She wants to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world, so the music needs to follow suit. It’s not fully connecting this time, so there will likely be more and not too far off, to get back on track with her ambition.

It has happened with pretty much every major popstar at some point - I guess her last era was such a slam dunk I kind of forgot this could happen to her too. But I trust her hunger. The Rihanna trajectory comparisons are nothing new here, but she’s coming off GGGB into Rated R. Her Loud will be upon us, whether that’s a monster single, a rerelease, or whatever. She ‘just’ needs another global smash to shift the narrative, and that will take precedence over pushing the “Radical Optimism” album / storyline.
 
The Maria guitar intro sounds like she's about to hear a heartbeat to the beat of the drums.

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Did anyone get one of the signed HMV posters? There are a TON on eBay, but I have a feeling it's a lot of scammers. Would love to get one here in NY.
 

Rmx

He/Him/His
Anything For Love hit me today. Could be massive. That piano melody?? I'm legit crying. Beautiful.
 
What this album does is pointing out that her personal taste does not align with the US GP's. She wants to be cool (see all the namedropping during press cycle) but also wants/needs to have global hits, and that's part of the ongoing struggle. She just needs to find a balance the way Rihanna eventually did with Anti.
 
I think I'm settling into the fact that multiple things can be true at once for me: the album is good, I like the album, but at the same time it does all sound reductive of previous releases and doesn't feel like the album that she should've released right now.
 
What this album does is pointing out that her personal taste does not align with the US GP's. She wants to be cool (see all the namedropping during press cycle) but also wants/needs to have global hits, and that's part of the ongoing struggle. She just needs to find a balance the way Rihanna eventually did with Anti.
It’s also that Future Nostalgia sold a lot through the sheer force of inescapable, consecutive smashes, not because people were particularly interested in what Dua has to say or her POV. This time around, between trying to promote her as a personality (to varying success) and the packaging and presentation of the album, it seems like they consciously tried to steer public interest that way - but it fell short.

It might be that people just aren’t THAT interested in her as a persona (for reasons already discussed here) without the mega bops, and now she and her team know that. Which is not necessarily a huge issue - Rihanna steamrolled pop culture through hits for years before finding that lore. As long as Dua is happy to play ball, which I’m pretty sure she is.
 
I was gonna buy a seedee copy but I'm gonna wait on the eventual deluxe which will no doubt be out sooner than any of us would have thought ddd.
 
It’s also that Future Nostalgia sold a lot through the sheer force of inescapable, consecutive smashes, not because people were particularly interested in what Dua has to say or her POV. This time around, between trying to promote her as a personality (to varying success) and the packaging and presentation of the album, it seems like they consciously tried to steer public interest that way - but it fell short.
This. And I really wish it did, but this album doesn’t have strong material to stick around for years like Future Nostalgia.
 
he/him
This. And I really wish it did, but this album doesn’t have strong material to stick around for years like Future Nostalgia.

I mean, most albums don’t. And I don’t think it’s really ideal for an artist to have music stick around like that anyway if they’re trying to have a functional career. Future Nostalgia was very much a lightning in a bottle moment propelled by unfortunate and unique circumstances, where it was her, The Weeknd, and Doja taking over and truly saving a lot of people’s sanity. The Weeknd suffered a very similar fate with his last album because nothing was reaching the highs of After Hours. Doja was able to escape it by following Hot Pink up with Planet Her, which was even more hit ready, but it definitely caught up to her with Scarlet.

I think Radical Optimism has more than enough to have a standard album campaign for 2024. There’s at least 2-3 more singles left here if they choose to go that deep again.
 
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I mean, most albums don’t. And I don’t think it’s really ideal for an artist to have music stick around like that anyway if they’re trying to have a functional career. Future Nostalgia was very much a lightning in a bottle moment propelled by unfortunate and unique circumstances, where it was her, The Weeknd, and Doja taking over and truly saving a lot of people’s sanity. The Weeknd suffered a very similar fate with his last album because nothing was reaching the highs of After Hours. Doja was able to escape it by following Hot Pink up with Planet Her, which was even more hit ready, but it definitely caught up to her with Scarlet.

I think Radical Optimism has more than enough to have a standard album campaign for 2024. There’s at least 2-3 more singles left here if they choose to go that deep again.
I totally agree that Future Nostalgia was totally a lightning in a bottle moment and the re-release next to Levitating helped anchor that even further, but the standouts across the standard were also just better last time around.

I personally don't hear strong single contenders past what we got already, maybe Whatcha Doing.
 

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