Release Date: Oct 13, 2017
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock
The pop gods can sometimes work in mysterious ways. When Pink arrived on the scene in 2000 with the hit “There You Go,” she became the third wheel to the Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera duopoly. “Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears,” she even griped on her 2002 single “Don’t Let Me Get Me.” But whereas Brit and Xtina are not the ruling divas they once were, Pink has just gotten better and better.
Another Pink album populated with misfits and outcasts, Beautiful Trauma doesn't lack for hard-headed but tenderhearted lovers trying to make the most of things despite their failings and imperfections. The title track, which opens the album, chronicles love won through all manner of hardship and vice, what Pink describes as her “perfect rock bottom. ” She's even more direct on “Where We Go,” singing to her partner, “We've both always been broken.
Pink was dominating the charts with spunky, real-talking anthems back when today's slow-sad divas were in preschool, and her seventh LP is a reminder of that. The title track and the strummy "Whatever You Want" are vintage Pink, with juicy hooks and pop-rock muscle; "I Am Here" underscores its EDM-powerment message with a gospel choir. Trauma's chilled-out middle sags, but "Revenge," her bad-romance duet with Eminem, is an early shot of energy; Max Martin and Shellback's homage to Dr.
In a recent New York Times profile, Pink’s manager correctly described this seventh album as “just a continuation of the previous records”. So we get self-consciously “controversial” Pink on the Eminem-featuring Revenge; bruised and heartbroken Pink (the lovely But We Lost It); down and out but with a hint of idealism Pink (Barbies), and the nagging sense that we’ve been here before. It’s a shame, because the pockets of experimentation often work, especially the Jack Antonoff-produced, restless title track and the soft electronic pulse of Secrets.
Five years separate Beautiful Trauma from its predecessor, 2012's The Truth About Love -- a half-decade P!nk generally acknowledges in lyrical themes, not musical terms. Chalk this up to a general maturation -- the singer/songwriter is a happily married mother of two, creeping up on her 40th birthday -- but her decision to do little more than nod at contemporary musical trends is deliberate, a reflection of how her hits and audience have crept toward the adult contemporary charts. P!nk isn't entirely ready to enter Adele territory: She's still as liable to curse as croon, she makes the occasional feint toward EDM pop, and has the sense to hire Jack Antonoff, the hitmaker du jour of 2017, as a collaborator.