Album Review By Molly Segers
Pink has earned a rep as a pop star for people who normally wouldn’t fess up to liking pop, thanks in part to her big bombastic persona. The Truth About Love, released September 18, stays true to this, delivering 13 tracks of what she does best – empowerment anthems and slightly off kilter love songs with an edge. This is almost perfectly captured in first single, “Blow Me” (One Last Kiss),” with anthemic productions, snark, and foul mouth moments (on the unedited version, that is).That said, don’t go in expecting a barrel of ear worms. This took a few listens to set its hooks.
In addition to an notable collection of songwriting collaboration (Max Martin, Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, etc.), Pink scores an impressive collection of cameos for her sixth album, including Eminem (“Here Comes the Weekend”), fun. frontman Nate Ruess (“Just Give Me a Reason”), and Lily Rose Cooper, better known as Lily Allen. The pure pop “True Love,” which features Cooper, is destined to become a catalog staple. Sonically the brightest moment on the record, the lyrics paint a less than fairy tale image of love, pining “at the same time I want to hug you/I want to wrap my hands around your neck… it must be true love/no one else can break my heart like you”. This isn’t the only instance of portraying love as being less than picture perfect, also making thematic appearances on the title track, among others. This is best captures on “The Truth About Love” chorus, “and the truth about love is it’s all a lie/I thought you were the one, and I hate goodbyes.”
The record does deviate a bit on “Slut Like You,” penned with Max Martin, who has quite the reputation for writing songs from strong female perspectives. This follows Pink’s fondness for empowering tracks that either heralds the underdog or celebrates girl power. This song sounds like a big party song at first, but actually packs a bigger thematic punch. The lyrics challenge the ideal of the meek/submissive female role by portraying a traditionally male perspective of sex in a female voice, with lines like “You think you call the shots/I just bought you some.” Her challenge to slut-shamers, is that it loses some of its bite thanks to the track “Walk of Shame,” which pleas, “please God, don’t let anybody see me/I promise no more walks of shame”.
Also joining Pink’s stable of empowerment anthems like “Misunderstood” and “Raise Your Glass” “Are We All We Are.” Penned with Butch Walker, John Hill, and Emile Haynie, the album opener has a a sweeping intro and a chanting chorus of “We are the people that you’ll never get the best of / Not forget the rest of / Just sing it loud until the kids will sing it right back. I can only imagine the grand way this will play out live.
Then again that goes for most of the record.
You can listen to the entire record on Pink’s Vevo channel now.
Pink will be performing at Philips Arena on March 1. Tickets go on sale October 13.