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    LP Corner – June 2024

    Date:

    RADICAL OPTIMISM – DUA LIPA 

    Released: May 3, 2024
    Genre: Dance-Pop, Neo-Psychedelia 
    Run Time: 36 minutes

    Following her critically acclaimed 2020 album Future Nostalgia, English-Albanian singer-songwriter Dua Lipa returns with a flurry of singles in promotion for this new record, including a lead single for the soundtrack to the phenomenon that was the Barbie movie. Keeping on the trend on dance-pop and electro-pop with rollout singles such as ‘Houdini’, ‘Training Season’ and ‘Illusion’, there wasn’t too much I wasn’t expecting going into Radical Optimism. However, there are hints of neo-psychedelia (offshoot of psychedelic rock, dream pop and shoegazing) sprinkled in through the record.

    Radical Optimism is a journey of self love and discovery through the stages of a break up, the joys and clarity of getting through situations you thought were helpless, as well as the fearful hard goodbyes and vulnerable beginnings found in these times. I will say though, even as it is presented as ‘radical’ there isn’t anything too radical in regards to new sounds when put side by side to her previous record. However if Future Nostalgia is grand and in your face, I’d say Radical Optimism is more subtle and lowkey, especially in its deep cuts. The song writing on ‘These Walls’ is exciting despite being a more sober track. Overall the album is very enjoyable to listen to and it has a lot of redeeming qualities about it, but I’m unsure of the replay value in comparison to Future Nostalgia. Only time will tell. 

    7/10


    ELEPHUNK – THE BLACK EYED PEAS

    Released: January 1, 2003
    Genre: Hip-Hop, Contemporary R&B 
    Run Time: 59 minutes 

    Dictionary definition of the word 'Euphoria' in black text on white background

    If you are in tuned with hip-hop culture, meme culture or just glancing through music forums, you would’ve come across the back-and-forth rap beef and subsequent diss tracks between the two titans, Toronto rapper Drake and Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. The feud reached new heights at the end of March and resulted in a lot of standout tracks from both artists. While Kendrick’s song ‘Not Like Us’ is the most popular, it’s ‘euphoria’ that meets my dopamine explosion criteria.

    With a flurry of credited producers, it’s no wonder all three beat switches are able to transition and flow so effortlessly. Starting with laid back vocals and gliding flow from Kendrick, the beat is filled with blissful keys and a subtle stripped back kick drum until a sudden drop on the line ‘don’t tell no lies about me, and I won’t tell no truths about you’. The second beat is a loud in-your-face brass section, similar to a marching band, demanding your attention as Kendrick switches the flow and begins his attack. The instrumental of this portion is a mix of a modern trap song, infectious high hats, kicks and bass but there is an eerie Elder Rings meets Dark Souls energy about it. The last instrumental is similar but the ghostly sample in the back is fitting in its sinister nature.

    Where the allegation and beef finally ended up is a whole other story, but myself and most hip-hop listeners will agree that this kind of back-and-forth competition has breathed a new life into the culture. 

    9/10


    Rhys Pearson
    Rhys Pearson
    Rhys Pearson is a local Werribee songwriter and manager at Studio 185, with a Bachelors in Entertainment Business in his back pocket

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