Music Critic Alfie Warner reviews the second single off Dua Lipa’s upcoming album, finding it reflective of the artist’s growth

Written by Alfie Warner
English Literature Student

‘Training Season’, Dua Lipa’s first single of 2024 and second single from her upcoming third album, Radical Optimism, continues where previous single ‘Houdini’ left off, with Lipa again toning down the glamour and disco for a more raw pop sound.

Lipa again [tones] down the glamour and disco for a more raw pop sound

The foundations of dance music that catapulted her to mainstream fame with her second album Future Nostalgia are still present. The song opens with a staple groovy bass line you would come to expect from Lipa, but this time it is complemented by a light guitar riff which draws attention to the subtle shift in her musical style. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she declared her third album will be ‘a psychedelic-pop-infused tribute to UK rave culture’, citing influence from Primal Scream, Oasis, and Blur.

The song’s lyrics signal her self-reinvention above all, trading the upbeat wordplay from past tracks like ‘Hallucinate’ for a more self-assured, know-my-own-worth, yet exasperated tone: ‘I tried / To see my lovers in a good light / Don’t wanna do it just to be nice / Don’t wanna have to teach you how to love me right’.

The song’s lyrics signal her self-reinvention above all

In a press release for the single, Lipa states that the song has multiple meanings: ‘And while it is obviously about that feeling when you are just absolutely done telling people…men specifically in this case, how to date you right; it is also about my training season being over and me growing with every experience’.

‘Training Season’ is a track synonymous with Lipa’s fluidity as an artist and individual, adjusting and adapting to reflect her growth both musically and personally. And if you are not here for the deeper meanings, the track also has extended, instrumental, and a capella versions for (most) occasions.

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