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dua lipa at the barbie premiere
dua lipa at the barbie premiere
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‘Radical Optimism’ Album Review

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Dua Lipa’s Radical Optimism is here – and it’s the perfect album to get you in the summer mood! 

On May 3, 2024, Dua Lipa released her third studio album, Radical Optimism. Radical Optimism comes after Lipa not releasing an album since her record-breaking album Future Nostalgia, back in 2020. Lipa explained that Radical Optimism is about staying positive through the chaotic moments of life. 

Radical Optimism earned over 20 million streams on Spotify in its debut day, and over 94 million streams in its debut week. Radical Optimism currently ranks as the fifth biggest female debut week for an album in 2024. Radical Optimism ultimately debuted and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 album chart.

End Of An Era 

Lipa chose a great song to open her third album – “End Of An Era.” The song is about Lipa meeting someone new and becoming optimistic that this person could become her forever person, and end her “single” era. A personal favorite part of this song is the pre-chorus. The way Lipa sings the pre-chorus creates a perfect build up for the equally catchy chorus. Just from the opening 10 seconds of the song, you already want to dance along, and it makes you even more excited for the rest of the album.

Houdini 

“Houdini” was released as Radical Optimism’s lead single back in November 2023, and the song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Houdini” is about how Lipa will “disappear” from a relationship if the person won’t show effort and commitment. Lipa sings, “Catch me or I go Houdini,” which is a reference to the famous escape artist and illusionist Harry Houdini. Lipa is known for her catchy pop hits that instantly make you want to dance and sing along, and “Houdini” is absolutely one of those songs. 

Training Season 

“Training Season” was released as the second single from Radical Optimism back in February. Lipa explained that “Training Season” is about not wanting to have to “train” the people she’s dating anymore. Lipa also shared on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ that, “With every dating experience, whether it’s good or bad, each person leaves the situation having learned something.” 

These Walls 

In “These Walls,” Lipa sings about a failing relationship. In the pre-chorus, Lipa sings, “Oh, this love is fading. So much we’re not saying.” In the chorus, Lipa goes on to sing about how if the walls could talk, they would tell Lipa and her partner to give up on the failing relationship and to break up. Fans speculate that “These Walls” may be the next single from the album.

Whatcha Doing 

“Whatcha Doing” is about Lipa entering a new relationship and how she can feel this new person affecting her. Lipa sings about her new person, “You’re in my head and now you’re clouding my decisions. Got me heading for collision.” “Whatcha Doing” is one of the catchiest songs on the album, and the first 10 seconds of the song immediately pulls you in and has you wanting to sing along with Lipa. 

French Exit 

“French Exit” is about Lipa leaving a relationship without saying goodbye, also known as a French exit. Lipa sings, “It’s not a broken heart if I don’t break it. “Goodbye” doesn’t hurt if I don’t say it.” “French Exit” is a song on Radical Optimism that will definitely grow on you after a few listens.

Illusion 

“Illusion” was released back in April as the third single from Radical Optimism. “Illusion” is about Lipa knowing her worth and no longer falling for red flags and the “illusions” her partners try to create. Lipa made a great choice making this fun pop song a single. Just like “Houdini,” “Illusion” is another one of Lipa’s songs that makes you want to sing and dance along. 

Falling Forever 

“Falling Forever” is about the beginning of Lipa’s new relationship, and how she wants the honeymoon phase to last forever. Lipa sings, “Can it just keep getting better? Can we keep falling forever?” “Falling Forever” is a song on Radical Optimism that really shows off Lipa’s vocal range. 

Anything For Love 

“Anything For Love” opens with Lipa talking and laughing with her friends. The song then begins with a piano playing and Lipa singing slowly. From the song’s introduction, you believe it will be a slow and sadder song, but halfway in, the song speeds up and becomes more poppy. Lipa shared that “Anything For Love” is about reminiscing on the days where people would fight for a relationship to work, and not give up the second things get tough. 

Maria 

“Maria” is about how Lipa has never felt this loved before in her new relationship – but she knows her partner has become the person he is due to his past relationships. ‘Maria’ is the name Lipa gives to her partner’s ex-girlfriend when addressing her in the song. Lipa sings, “Now he is everything I’d ever want. I wanna thank you for all that you’ve done.” 

Happy For You

“Happy For You” is the final song on Radical Optimism. “Happy For You” is about Lipa being happy for her ex-boyfriend and his new relationship. In the song, Lipa sings, “I must’ve loved you more than I ever knew, cause I’m happy for you.” The song ends the same way it began, with the sound of birds chirping. “Happy For You” is a beautiful song by Lipa, and it was the perfect album closer. 

Radical Optimism is such a fun album that deserves much more attention than it’s getting! Go give it a listen if you haven’t already!

Daniella is a sophomore at Hofstra University with a major in early childhood education. She is from Long Island, New York. In her free time she’s either reading, writing, scrolling on Instagram, watching Tik Toks, listening to Taylor Swift, catching up on pop culture, or spending time with her friends and sorority sisters.