Review Summary: Pink shows the world how pop music should be done yet again.
Pink is a pop music anomaly. While she's got a lofty list of hits behind her, she rarely gets the amount of airplay and attention most of her contemporaries do. That's a damn shame, because she is easily as talented, if not more so. She isn't afraid to let instruments shine in her music, either. While Pink's music is R&B tinged pop at its core, serrated rock overtones have fueled past hits such as "Who Knew", "Stupid Girls" and "Just Like a Pill." Her latest album, Beautiful Trauma
isn't so much of a departure from that; she's always been pop. What makes this record still so riveting is the high production value and cohesion that is otherwise lacking on modern pop radio.
The album opens with its title track, as Pink vaults back and forth between elegant sung refrains and jagged, brusque verses. The key-driven melody twinkles as Pink compares her love to a drug she can't get away from. It's a well performed pop song, thanks to both Pink's graceful vocals and the glistening instrumentals. "Revenge" sees Pink rap, something she's no stranger to. If the track feels a bit too jagged in the beginning, that's quickly forgiven by a sweetly sung hook before a short, fun chorus. Eminem's guest appearance fits the composition and while neither vocalist gives the performance of their careers, it comes across as simplistic, tongue-in-cheek and just a chance for the two to have fun.
"Whatever You Want" is great guitar pop, featuring a smoldering melody and irresistible hooks galore. Pink sings the track's chorus superbly over catchy basslines and sugary acoustic guitar work. The album's lead off single "What About Us" follows with some riveting pulsation as Pink asks a nameless muse why they let their love and promises to each other go to waste. "But We Lost It" challenges a similar notion lyrically. Pink questions why we should expect things to be temporary and just disappear over time. "Barbies" sees the Doylestown native reflecting on days gone by and when life was simpler.
The album's middle section is pretty tame altogether, but "Where We Go" breaks that orthodoxy with some bluesy electric guitar work, catchy synths and pleasant vocals, especially in the verses. "Secrets" is another cohesive example of how authentic Pink's brand of pop is; some subtle guitars coincide perfectly with well produced beats and solid basslines. "I Am Here" sees Pink wanting to enjoy all life has to offer. The hook that appears before the second verse is abrupt and nothing special, but the track overall is too strong to resist. "You Get Me Love" closes out Beautiful Trauma
the way it began; with solemn piano refrains, rip-roaring vocals and wistful lyrics.
is how pop music should be done. While some tracks are a bit tame and controlled, and not as many tracks bounce out with as much grit and bite as some of Pink's previous radio hits, every track has something great to offer. Pink sings her heart out for nearly every second of this, her seventh studio album. She appeases modern masses without chasing trends or adapting her sound to keep up with the times. Instruments are audible, themes are accessible and the music itself is just so damn good
. Pink puts forth an album that deserves to appear on many best of lists this December and I would be both surprised and disappointed if that didn't happen. Beautiful Trauma
is yet another pop masterpiece from the genre's most talented and criminally underappreciated star.