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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Album review: Pink's Beautiful Trauma falls short when it comes to songwriting

In her seventh album, Pink examines the ups and downs of excess

Beautiful Trauma by Pink
Beautiful Trauma by Pink

Beautiful Trauma

Pink

(RCA)

Abu Dhabi F1 should be extra excited when Pink performs the prestigious race day concert on November 26.

With Pink’s world tour promoting her latest album, Beautiful Trauma, kicking off in the US next year, the crowds at the Du Arena will be amongst the first to hear the new tunes live.

If you are a Pink fan or at the least managed to hum along to her radio staples Get the Party Started, So What? and Raise Your Glass, then there is enough to enjoy in Beautiful Trauma.

Despite being her first album in five years, the 38-year-old (real name Alecia Moore) essentially picks off where 2012’s Truth About Love left off with another set ranging from introspective balladry, bombastic pop and the occasional wink to hip-hop.

The album begins strongly with the triumphant opening title track; Pink struts alongside an electro beat as she details a passionate yet destructive love “that burned so bright, we burned out.”

Like the title suggests, Beautiful Trauma is all about the joys and pitfalls of excess.

Revenge, the much touted collaboration with Eminem, is built on a laid back hip-hop groove as Pink adopts a languid rapping style recalling G-Eazy as she threatens to sue a cheating partner for everything he got – including the dog and shoes. Eminem’s angry response is so forceful – with nearly each line unprintable.

In the stellar ballad and latest chart topper, What About Us, Pink’s husky tones are glorious as she ruefully admits to getting lost in her chase for thrills.

Unfortunately, on the musical front, Beautiful Trauma doesn’t match its lyrical smarts.

With an A-list cast of beat makers ranging from Swedish pop-meisters Max Martin and Shellback and Jack Antonoff (frontman of US rockers Fun), the material produced is solid yet nowhere near as deep as some of the lyrics demanded.

Secrets is bogged down with prosaic dance beats, while the gospel meet country stomper I Am Here sounds haphazard and disconnected. It all adds up to Beautiful Trauma being both relatively fan friendly yet mildly disappointing.

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