April 22, 2019 P!nk – Hurts 2B Human (Album Review)
If ever there was an album title that cut right to the chase, P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human just might be it. Always a woman who speaks her mind, the exceptionally fierce P!nkness returns Friday, April 26, 2019, thanks to RCA Records.
The Grammy Award-winning P!nk (nee Alecia Moore) has a name that was once synonymous with her always colorful looks, but has come to mean so very much more: incomparable vocals and soaring acrobatics being high on that list. A Pennsylvania native, Singer-Songwriter P!nk has achieved massive commercial success throughout her musical career.
It all began with her 2000 debut, Can’t Take Me Home, and nearly twenty years later this Pop powerhouse is still going strong with over 60 million albums and 75 million singles sold, over 2.4 million DVDs sold worldwide, and 15 singles in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In addition, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Daytime Emmy Award, a bazillion impressive awards and accolades, and has sold out arenas all over the world.
For her eighth studio album, the 13-song Hurts 2B Human, P!nk picks up where 2017’s Beautiful Trauma left off. Again, she has worked with a veritable cavalcade of producers and long-time collaborators, including the Grammy Award-winning Producer-Songwriter Max Martin; the multi-talented Shellback; Singer-Songwriter Julia Michaels; Singer-Songwriter Nate Ruess (he’s fun.); multi-talented Greg Kurstin; and Songwriter-Producer Billy Mann, among many more. However, this time around there are some new faces, such as Producer-Songwriter Teddy Geiger; Singer-Songwriter Sasha Sloan; some loser named Beck (it’s a joke, calm down!); and Sia, she who swings from chandeliers.
Hurts 2B Human immediately prances into the flouncy bop of “Hustle.” Livin’ her life like a bullet in a gun, Miss P!nk warns that you’d better not mess around with her, because she’s not going to tolerate any b.s., boys and girls. Strong, bold, but a bit repetitive, the track was written with Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds and Producer Jorgen Odegard. It provides a feisty start to a collection that runs the gamut from fun Pop jams such as this to moving emotional confessions.
Creating a catchy blend between a club remix and an infectious Pop hit, “(Hey Why) Miss You Sometime” utilizes vocal effects to spice up its ode to missing someone who is bad news. Somewhat conversely, the album’s first single/video, ballad “Walk Me Home,” goes for a more straightforward, vocal-anchored and soulful approach that layers a million different sounds to weave something that is an epic slam into the feels.
If you see what’s hidden away, will you tell her that she’s crazy? Going for the candid and confessional, midtempo “My Attic” is a sweet moment that utilizes metaphor to dip into the secrets that we all hide in dusty, dark places. Meanwhile, “90 Days” blends an almost jazzy, soulful storytelling session with Pop effects to create a uniquely beautiful duet between P!nk and the talented Singer-Songwriter Wrabel. Flawless complements for one another, together the pair create a smoky, sultry track that tingles across the senses in all the very best ways.
Acoustic guitar opens the titular “Hurts 2B Human,” a funkified ballad featuring another exceptional singer-songwriter, Khalid. The track almost sounds like a holdover from Beautiful Trauma, making this the perfect bridge between P!nk’s last album and this latest collection. One that flows flawlessly into the intelligent summer anthem, “Can We Pretend,” where P!nk picks up the beat much in thanks to the Electronic act Cash Cash. A desire to escape reality and make believe, here we pretend to like such unlikable things as the president while pretending that we’re still twenty-two and dancing on tables.
The timeless “Courage” goes back to serious intensity and P!nk’s incomparable vocal prowess as she explores the idea of having the courage to make a change — be it on a personal or global scale. It’s a powerfully inspiring track that, though perfectly suited to 2019, is both timeless and universal. Next, acoustics open “Happy,” a deeply poignant glance at what it means to be happy and the mental hurdles that we create for ourselves. A woman who is always at the forefront of being open, honest, sincere and blunt, P!nk inadvertently creates a stunning ode to battling our inner-demons and acknowledges the ability to be afraid to be happy – with ourselves, love, and life.
There’s a delicious ‘80s beat embedded inside “We Could Have It All,” which builds into P!nk’s soaring vocal theatrics. Next, Chris Stapleton, another artist at the uppermost echelon of their craft, guests on “Love Me Anyway.” With the track, P!nk dips her toes into the Country genre for a beautiful crossover duet that explores the power of love to transcend all of our faults.
Growing even more intensely emotional, P!nk offers up the vocal and piano “Circle Game.” A superb exploration of the circle of life (but minus that lion king), here, amongst other topics, she discusses being a mother and wanting to truly be the “badass” that her daughter believes her to be. A powerful piece that hits hard, “Circle Game” is a poignant representation of all of this woman’s (endless) strengths.
Ultimately, she ends the album with the acoustic-driven “The Last Song of Your Life,” which literally asks if you had one song left in your soul, what would you sing? It’s an intimate moment, just vocals and acoustic accompaniment closing out an intensely emotive collection from one of Pop’s finest. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find fault with anything the exceptionally talented P!nk does, because she always does it with such immense heart.
Hurts 2B Human explores the many facets of being human — from flawed relationships to our own personal demons to the need to escape reality for a moment. A magnificent collection that picks up where its predecessor left off, continuing to unfold P!nk’s story of beautiful trauma and the inherent flaws in our humanity, Hurts 2B Human is intelligent, heartwarming and honest Pop music. Love her or loathe her, P!nk continues to be a woman at the top of her game — and there’s no denying that voice! For these reasons, Cryptic Rock give P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human 5 of 5 stars.
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