The queen of bad-assery is back and continues to take no f***s from anyone.
Yesterday, P!nk released her seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma, under RCA Records (Foo Fighters, Kesha). This was P!nk’s first release in five years, since her last album The Truth About Love (2012). P!nk also released a documentary today on Apple Music about the behind-the-scenes process of creating Beautiful Trauma.
I truly enjoyed this album. Beautiful Trauma was the complete opposite of what I had expected, and I was very happy with what I got. True to its title, Beautiful Trauma is a beautiful, emotional, and heart-wrenching album. Most of the tracks are softer, more pop and pianos than rock underneath real, hard-hitting lyrics. Such songs are not unusual from P!nk, as she has included tracks like these on past albums, but I believe it’s unprecedented for P!nk to construct an album that’s three-quarters of this music. In a way, Beautiful Trauma was almost relaxing to listen to.
The album starts with the title track, which describes love as a drug that both lifts you up and brings you way down. P!nk stated on Twitter her reason for naming the album after this particular track (which I think we can all relate to that at some point or another!):
“Revenge” features rapper Eminem, and has been announced as the album’s next single. This may be the chillest song about revenge, that I’ve ever heard, especially since it’s sung by two powerhouses. The first line has two references to well-known cases of revenge (“Like Leo in The Revenant, Abel in that Bible bit“). “Revenge” quickly became one of my favorite tracks.
“Whatever You Want” is your quintessential pop rock track from the P!nk we know and love, and I loved every bit of it. P!nk describes herself as “a ride-or-die partner committing to go down together,” willing to do whatever it takes to keep her relationship going (Entertainment Weekly). The song was released on October 5 as a promotional track for the new album.
“What About Us” was released as a pre-album single in August. It’s a chilling song, directly targeting today’s politicians and their repeated failures to do what they swore to do. However, this song could also be interprested as God failing those who turn to Him, betraying the love and trust people put into Him. Something about the use of Chris Christie sound bites at 2016’s GOP convention in the music video intro, and the fact that P!nk herself has stated that this song is about the current politics in America, has me leaning towards the first interpretation.
“But We Lost It” is a heart-wrenching track about a love that fell apart, filled with emotion and heartbreak (“You walked by, and it’s like our bodies never touch/No love, you hold me close, but I don’t feel much“). “Barbies” has a sad, nostalgic feel, as P!nk watches her parents age and deals with the struggles of adulthood while wishing to return to the easier days of childhood. “Where We Go” is one of the faster-paced tracks on Beautiful Trauma, and got my head bobbing along to the tempo. I loved P!nk’s vocals on this track, as she sings about the aftermath of a fight between her and her significant other, contemplating ending the relationship.
“For Now” is a hauntingly beautiful ballad about wanting to return to the basics of a relationship in order to rebuild a broken relationship. “Secrets” is a funky track about how both the singer and her significant other keep secrets from the other (“I’ll show mine if you show yours“) , and her uncertainty as to whether or not she should bare herself to him.
“Better Life” talks about the loss of sparks in a relationship and P!nk’s fear that her significant other will leave because of that (“But I can’t shake the feeling/That you picture a better life, better wife, better nights, better high“). P!nk envies other couples’ relationships because they appear more perfect than hers. “I Am Here” has a gospel feel to it, which was entirely unexpected yet worked amazingly. P!nk sings about how after hitting rock bottom, the only place to go is up, to live life (“I’ve already seen the bottom, so there’s nothing to fear“).
“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” is a beautifully defiant battle cry. Some of P!nk’s more intense vocals are on display here, as well as P!nk’s solid vibrato. P!nk is declaring that there is no holding down those with “wild hearts:” the people who are different, who dare to think outside of societal lines. She announces that “wild hearts can’t be broken/This wild heart can’t be broken“–that while society and media may try to break her and others, they refuses to back down and be broken.
Closing track “You Get My Love” has what I think are the most powerful vocals on this album. If you didn’t already know that P!nk can belt it out like the best, you certainly do now. And her vibrato on this track, I mean wow. “You Get My Love” is the rawest track on the album and leaves a lasting impression. This song is written presumably to a significant other, although my first impression was that this was a song to her children: a confession that their mother has made mistakes, but her love for them is never-ending.
P!nk continues to be an amazing musician and pop icon. In a world where pop music has started falling to the wayside in terms of quality (mostly because everything sounds exactly the same), P!nk brings a revitalization and individuality to the pop scene that I hope will make other pop singers take note and follow suit. Beautiful Trauma is a unique, beautiful album that shows a certain maturity within P!nk. Beautiful Trauma is solid, both in its lyrical and musical content, and proves that P!nk is back and taking no prisoners.
P!nk will be the musical guest on tonight’s episode of “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick,” “The Lego Ninjago Movie”). Tune in to NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT to watch!
To hear more from P!nk, follow her on Spotify! Be sure to also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as subscribe to her YouTube! You can also check out P!nk’s website for info about new music, updates, and future shows.
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