Rock/pop singer/songwriter P!nk just had a baby, and the question is… has she mellowed out?
Album No. 6, The Truth About Love, says a definite “no” to that. She hasn’t abandoned the tuff chick with golden pipes rocker persona, and she’s still saucy; peppering songs with profanity.
But when listening to P!nk here, the cussing isn’t gratuitous, it’s humorous and part of the narrative (The Truth About Love). She’s a powerhouse singer whose occasional profanity makes her songs catchy and more relatable, and she’s clever enough to remove any potential sting, as in Blow Me (One Last Kiss).
It’s what P!nk does best – a punchy radio song that isn’t pop drivel but isn’t too far from formulaic either.
Cajones it has, and this is a big album with big sound and lots of producers (Greg Kurstin, Billy Mann, Butch Walker, etc.). It’s not bluster though, taste and the big beat are ever present and P!nk draws on this and moves into a modern R&B/ballad feel and the dynamic and groove give her voice depth and hook appeal (True Love).
That’s a pattern.
The standout tracks are the belters that are sparse grooves. How Come You’re Not Here has a rough-edged vocal and garage rock riff that impart retro cool while maintaining P!nk’s upbeat energy. Her snotty attitude has its own charm. She nails the street-girl-with-smarts vibe dead on in the punky Slut Like You – another naughty declaration with easy appeal.
Because P!nk hammers out hooks relentlessly, she seems to be a musical machine.
This album brings her cleverness and solidity into focus. The songs rock and have joy. Last of all, she brings on the decibels. She ain’t coy and the cussing’s fun. Long live P!nk’s potty mouth!
–– Dean Gordon-Smith is a musician who writes weekly CD reviews for The Morning Star.