Photo Credit : Pink / YouTube
Alecia Moore, otherwise known as Pink, is not your typical pop star. Whether she is pushing boundaries for the die-hard rebels, getting sentimental with suburban soccer mom’s, or being an activist for LGBT rights, she is that girl! Fresh off of being honored with a star on the coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame this past March, and embarking on the last leg of her world tour “Beautiful Drama” (which has grossed nearly $300 million and counting by the way), it is evident that Pink is still very much a pillar in today’s music industry.
Fittingly, that brings us to her most recent project Hurts 2B Human. Coming off of nearly a five-year hiatus, marks the eighth official studio album from the “Family Portrait ” singer. Long gone is the chic fuchsia pink pixie cut that spawned her popularity with debut her album Can’t Take Me Home in the late 2000s. You won’t find any signature pop grooves with the flare of ”There you go”, “Most Girls” or the infectious party hopping “Get It Started”, which catapulted her early career. Although, you do see a bit of vintage Pink on standouts like the upbeat and empowering lead single “Hustle”. Which gives the sauciness of 2008’s “So What” with a little country vibe mixed in. “You took my love, mistook it for weakness // I guarantee I won’t repeat this, no // Don’t try to hustle me // I live my life like a bullet in a gun, give you all my love till my patience is done // Oh no, don’t try to hustle me.” She sings in defiant fashion.
Another uplifting treat is the lighthearted “Can We Pretend ” featuring Cash Cash, which also shows flashes of a twenty-something-year-old Pink: “So can we pretend that I’m 22 today? // Dancing on the tables with you, oh yeah // Can we pretend that we all end up okay? // I just wanna forget with you, oh yeah.” R&B youngster Khalid shows up lending a nice hand on the solid laid back title track “Hurts 2B Human”, which consists of a mid-tempo pop beat complimenting Pink’s raspy vocals perfectly. In a recent Q&A with Entertainment Weekly the rock diva admitted to being a huge fan of the “Location” crooners style and charisma. She went on to add this regarding her current overall musical mindset: “I am very much a mystery bag. You put your hands in me and you have no idea what you’re gonna get out. That’s just how I do it. I don’t believe in genres. I just believe in music and speaking your heart. So that’s what I’ve always done.”
Words spoken like a true vet with a bonafide formula for success! However, sometimes triumph breeds comfort. Unfortunately, as the album rolls on Hurts 2B Human falls victim to this compared to what were used to hearing from the fun acrobatic performer. Even flanked by a stellar group of top notch producers like (Max Martin, Shellback) along with first time collaborators Sia and Beck, there is just not enough high-tech electro turntables in the world to defeat father time. Take for example the electro themed “90 Days” featuring Wrabel, which is outstandingly produced, but still sounds like a collection of empty pop tunes we’ve heard from random no names in the past. Even the snazzy production on “The Last Song Of Your Life” doesn’t save it from crashing into an average pitfall.
“Love Me Anyway” featuring Chris Stapleton, “My Attic” and “Hey Why Miss You Sometime”, all follow suit with the same sleepy rhetoric. Like a DJ who keeps spinning the same song in the club a million times, just with a slightly different backdrop. Elsewhere, she does rebound a bit with “Walk Me Home” a powerful ballad providing some spark, that is her best vocally. “Long Way To Happy ” and “Courage ” offers a classic relatable Pink like sentiment and genuine lyrics. Hence, what has kept her fan base remarkably loyal.
With that being said, Hurts 2B Human is a fitting title for Pink’s career right now. Depending on your view, some would say her washed up boohooing has been with decent vocally, but she needs to hang it up. Others would say she’s the forever inspiring leather jacket wearing rock star that makes anything look cool. Either way, one thing you can’t argue is the resounding ability to relate to her fans on such a normal level through her music. A lot of people can make a good tune or two, but whether it’s a celebration or a breakup with your beau, best believe she’s had a song for you!
All in all, Hurts 2B Human is nowhere near Pink’s best work. However, one thing is for sure, no matter what she will always be the one to stand up, boldly flip one finger in the air and tell you to shut the hell up! Whether no one’s listening or everyone is, she is where saints and misfits meet. A gentle heathen, with a voice she’s never been afraid to use. And that’s why, whether you rock with her or not, when it’s all said and done she will still go down as one of the most bad ass pop heroines of our generation. And that’s real!