BY CHARLIE FERN
Pop-icon P!nk just released her first album in five years. While “Beautiful Trauma” has some good highlights, the overall package is a disappointment in comparison to P!nk’s previous efforts.
The album starts off strong with the title track. The song is classic P!nk, but still feels fresh. It is easily the best song on the album, and it is a
shame that fans will not receive anything that lives up to it.
The most anticipated track on the album is “Revenge,” which features a verse from Eminem. However, P!nk gives little attitude in her vocal performance, and it does not work with it being a song about getting even. Eminem’s verse is classic Marshall Mathers and should please his fans. It is still not enough to overcome the limp beat and overall mellow tone.
The subtlety present on “Revenge” represents the main issue with the album. P!nk is at her best when her songs are overflowing with emotion. About half of these songs are too restrained to really make an impression.
It may be expected for P!nk to have mellowed out since she is now a mother of two. However, it does not connect when she is trying to present a message about rebellion in songs like “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” and “What About Us.”
Fortunately, the album does have some good moments. “You Get My Love” is a beautiful piano ballad that closes the album. It is hands down P!nk’s best vocal on the album, and the lyrics are heartfelt and relatable.
“Barbies” is another highlight. Instead of being a social commentary track like “Stupid Girls,” “Barbies” is a ballad reflecting on lost childhood. This song contains poignancy that is not present in most of the album.
“Whatever You Want” and “But We Lost It” are also solid tracks that should please longtime fans. However, they do pale in comparison to some of P!nk’s best songs from previous albums.
“Beautiful Trauma” does not take any risks. This is a problem because everything on the album has been done better before. Most of the songs here are retreads of the material from her last two albums.
The best tracks on the album feature contributions from people P!nk has not worked with before. “Beautiful Trauma” is co-written and produced by Jack Antonoff of the group Bleachers. “Barbies” is co-written by “Issues” singer Julia Michaels.
P!nk needs to work with fresher collaborators instead of people like Max Martin, who did his best work with P!nk almost a decade ago. Martin is one of the most prolific hitmakers ever, but he has run out of ideas when it comes to her based on their work here.
This album will not hurt P!nk commercially. It will produce hits and she will still sell out arenas around the world. However, she is going to need to change things up more for the next album if she really wants to put up a rebellious image.
The Flyer gives “Beautiful Trauma” a 5 out of 10.