It’s hard to fault Pink for sticking to a formula that has worked for her since nearly the beginning when she’s yet to actually release a bad album. When she dropped What About Us as the lead single from her seventh album last August, I wondered whether it would mark a change in how she’d approach things as the song wasn’t the same styled in-your-face jam that kicked off her last four eras.
After all, it had been five years since her last solo record, The Truth About Love, and in that time, the world has become quite a different place. Additionally, due to factors beyond her control, it’d be unlikely that she’d see the same level of success she’d earned a decade ago. So now would be the best time to continue what she started in her side project with Dallas Green a few years back on her own records.
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Not that it’s a disappointment. Not yet, anyway. Pink is one of the most consistent artists in pop music now and Beautiful Trauma continues on that path by delivering what you’d expect. Mostly Catchy, sometimes blunt, always polished pop music. There are as many surprises as there are disappointments, which is to say, there are few of either.
The record starts off with the pleasant title track that she performed at the American Music Awards in November (and stole the show with), but is followed by the album’s low point, Revenge, a cheesy collaboration featuring an odd appearance from Eminem that comes way too early in the album for comfort. Luckily, she steps it back up again with the midtempo Whatever We Want and rarely steps out of bounds again for the remainder of the record.
She’s back with her usual collaborators Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellshock, Greg Kurstin, among them, and they help keep her in familiar territory with songs that, like the albums that came before, will more than satisfy for now until we outgrow them and eagerly await her next. Beautiful Trauma is not fresh but it’s familiar and with some artists, that’s not a bad thing.
1. Beautiful Trauma
2. Revenge [featuring Eminem]
3. Whatever You Want
4. What About Us
5. But We Lost It
7. Where We Go
8. For Now
10. Better Life
11. I Am Here
12. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
13. You Get My Love