P!NK Takes an Emotional Journey on ‘Beautiful Trauma’

P!NK has been a force in the pop music scene since her debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, was released in 2000. Her unique punk aesthetic and bold personality have made her a mainstay in the industry, and she has kept her relevance and popularity intact over the years by continuing to make solid pop music and staying true to her authentic self.

Her 2012 album The Truth About Love was released to huge success, and the singles “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” “Try,” and “Just Give Me a Reason” saw extremely prominent radio play. The album earned her a nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards in the Best Pop Vocal Album category. Following that string of success, P!NK took a few years off to continue raising her daughter with husband Carey Hart, whom she also welcomed a son with in 2016.

Despite her relative absence after her 2012 release, P!NK’s time off has seemed to leave her a more thoughtful and emotional artist coming into her new record. While The Truth About Love was a punchy pop-rock album with a few stunning ballads, Beautiful Trauma is an updated, wiser side of P!NK. She plays to the current trends in the industry on songs like “Where We Go,” but the majority of the album is gut-wrenching slower songs like “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” The album is free of features except for the quirky, cool song “Revenge” that has an assist by rap legend Eminem, a previous collaborator of P!NK’s. Eminem adds a hilarious, cheeky verse to the song that makes it an edgy highlight.

The record tackles various themes: Love (“But We Lost It”), childhood reminiscence (“Barbies”), and the current state of the United States (“What About Us”). This is easily P!NK’s most vulnerable and emotional album since 2008’s Funhouse. Though it’s hard to choose because of the heavy content all throughout this record, the closing track “You Get My Love” is the best and most poignant track of the bunch. Its R&B/soul influences make it stand apart from the other songs, and P!NK’s vocals absolutely soar. On first listen, it actually came across as a song someone like Alicia Keys might record. It’s raw, real and unlike anything she has released, marking a welcome change in pace.

An album as long as this (13 tracks) usually has one or two filler tracks, but somehow P!NK has managed to create a captivating body of work, making her time off between albums well worth it. It’s modern in overall sound, but delivers her signature style that she has honed over the duration of her career. There is the right amount of upbeat songs in the mix to counteract the heavy material on the ballads, and not one song feels out of place or unnecessary. It takes the listener on a journey that ends on a satisfying note. She delivers in every aspect — vocals, lyrics, melodies — to make for near pop perfection. This record will without a doubt hold a place in fans’ (casual or otherwise) playlists for years to come.

Grade: A

Recommended Tracks:
“What About Us”
“Revenge (feat. Eminem)”
“Where We Go”
“You Get My Love”

(Featured Image: RCA)

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