Dua Lipa’s Radical Optimism is a perfectly-sized collection of sweet summer songs for the end of a relationship. At least early in the tracklist, the sound album is not as much of a sonic departure from Future Nostalgia as that album was from Dua Lipa. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Dua Lipa and her sound have grown together since her last album.

Here are my thoughts on Radical Optimism after my first listen.

Future Nostalgia was one of my favorite albums of 2020, and at least for me, it was a major event that year. The album was on daily repeat for me for quite a few months. I am unquestionably a Dua Lipa fan, and I’m so happy that we have a new entry in her discography.

On Radical Optimism, it’s clear that Lipa is processing the end of a relationship. It feels like a new topic for her, and it’s exciting to hear her take on it. She does a good job exploring these feelings while keeping the songs fun and summer-y.

Sonically, the first several tracks feel like they’d fit right in on Future Nostalgia, but that’s not a complaint. Dua’s syncopated basslines cut through the noise to establish an undeniable groove. As the album progresses, the tracks take on new sounds, such as in “French Exit,” “Anything for Love,” and “Maria.”

Compared to Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa swears more on Radical Optimism, and that’s nice!

The piano intro of “Anything For Love” is really fun. I’d love for Dua Lipa to release another piano ballad.

“Happy for You” seems like it could have been on her first album. It’s mostly missing the disco touches of Future Nostalgia and it feels like something that you’d hear after midnight. On that track, I love the little stutter moment that happens partway through one of the choruses.

As I continue to listen to Radical Optimism, the only question to answer will be, How exactly will these songs fit into my summer?