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Dua Lipa leaves vacation to record her new album, but forgot to go out and get back to work

At the pinnacle of pop, the English singer has difficulty relating to what made her an icon, and delivers an album with a well-defined, but almost entirely forgettable concept

If it is difficult for us mortals to return to the office routine after a vacation spent on a beach in Iguape or Itanhaém, imagine for Dua Lipawho lived their dream holiday among crystal clear seas, infinity pools, accompanied by splendid drinks and culinary delicacies from all over the world.

And here lies the problem Radical optimismthe radical optimism of Dua Lipa, the third album of her career, and also the most disconnected with the world around her – and with the dimension of the artist.

Dua Lipa, the Albanian-English singer, is in music heaven. Emerging as an alternative to the pop-inside-the-box that has prevailed over the last decade, it became huge during the pandemic, just as she launched Nostalgia for the futureGrammy-winning second studio album for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2021.

With that album, in the midst of the world shutting down, Dua transformed everyone’s living room into a dance floor. Don’t start now, Break my heartAND Levitation were some of the hits with billions of plays on streaming platforms.

Once the social isolation ended, Dua embarked on an endless tour, one of those in which rumors spread that the artist herself was exhausted and couldn’t stand the new dates added to the tour. Someone was definitely fired for too many shows, they say.

Growth in numbers. Many

The leap in popularity of the Englishman was such that, in 2017, he filled an Audio, a venue in the west area with a capacity of just over 2 thousand people, in Sao Paulo, and, five years later, he brought more than 40 thousand at the Anhembi Arena, at the beginning of the Northern Zone of São Paulo. Furthermore, he was also elevated to the role of headliner (main attraction) of Rock in Rio, with the acclaimed 100 thousand people per night of the festival, placing himself alongside the giants of music.

Nostalgia for the future is responsible for the artist’s increase in lean mass. The setlist was robust, with hints of disco music and elements of the 80s and even a bit of the previous decade. Dua also made a name for herself: she added new dance moves to her performances, colorful clothes, more dancers, catchy choruses, she let her voice sound freer, without fear of being happy.

Future Nostalgia was adventurous, free and versatile.

Everything that Radical Optimism is not.

Zero radicalism for an artist who was above all radical-pop

Perhaps Dua Lipa’s greatest radicalism, in her third album, is her reddish-haired look, approved by fashionistas, but not much for those who, a few years ago, achieved a complete “rebranding” that made media companies proud – term used by the advertising group to address the process of changing the public’s perception of a company, personality, brand, etc.

Dua’s heel bar was also positioned a few inches higher, as she left the Christmas silence Dance the night awayanother pop-flavored bomb with an instrumental part that sounds like it was made by the band Chic, in the 70s, on the soundtrack of the 2023 film Barbie, which was nominated for a Grammy and a Golden Globe.

Dua-radical also promised an album celebrating the music of the 90s, with references to Massive Attack and Primal Scream, British rave, psychedelia and Britpop. In addition to the desire to work with Kevin Parker, the brilliant Australian who created Tame Impala in 2010, one of the most important rock bands.

Since he had revisited the rhythm of 80s disco music years ago and created excellent work, expectations were really high. It’s frustrating to search for such references, even if you might find something in Training session, definitely the best song on the album. The inspiration is more spiritual than explicit.

Dua was good at choosing the songs for the singles – Houdini It looks like it came out of a session of leftovers Nostalgia for the futurelike this Illusion There’s something that communicates with the previous album, even if the beats per minute are a little slower.

Maximum, Radical optimism it presented itself as a continuation of the previous work.

The end of an era. And the beginning of another

The truth is that Dua admits that she wants time. I needed a vacation. And when you open the album with End of an era (almost self-explanatory title: the end of an era), leaves the message well.

The atmosphere is cool, heavy rhythms come out, the groove and bass are strong, a welcome lightness enters.

“I think we’ll be together, this could be the end of an era. We can be together forever.” Pure optimism, right from the opening song.

The heart, in fact, is what guides these tracks. Dua Lipa seems more confident in writing about her emotional torments, about the revolutions that the 28-year-old’s heart has already gone through. The climax occurs in “Happy For You”, when in the heroine’s journey, our protagonist manages to be happy for someone who has already left her, in a maturation process that is told, like enigmas, in each of the 11 songs.

Conceptually, therefore, Radical optimism It’s a success, it has a cohesive narrative, but it loses itself precisely for lack of ideas. It feels like a one-note album, with a few moments of euphoria and, even worse, a brutal energy drop that follows Fallen forever, Anything for love AND Marya trio that is positioned already at the end of the album.

There is a lack of success, a lack of a refrain that reaches the listener in a place that Dua knows how to find, a lack of flavours, of textures. When one of the singles is the best song on the album (again, the brilliant Training session, with a dizzying pace), the feeling remains that the album could be an EP, with three or four songs. We would all be spared, including Dua.

But market pressure dragged Dua Lipa out of vacation, and she did so with an album made to sound like the soundtrack to a late-afternoon pool party, with flashy drinks, people in bathing suits having drunken conversations, the sun still shining and some headaches due to heat stroke and lack of hydration. Forgettable, for most of the 36 minutes.

Even if she were to return to work, it’s unlikely that Dua Lipa will need to clock in, sit in a worn-out office chair, repeat her journey from desk to coffee machine and then to the bathroom for years and years. . Radical optimism It could have been brilliant, but it was a bureaucratic return to the company.

Source: Terra

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