P!nk’s music career spans over two decades, traversing through rock, pop and R&B. She’s one of the most commercially successful pop singers and has been considered a trailblazer for contemporary pop music. After the release of her 2000 debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, P!nk rose to fame as a new type of diva with a sense of rebellion, free–spirit and emotional rawness. She’s always been a talented vocalist, making her confessional music sound like dance anthems. While throughout her career she’s wavered in popularity, she’s always been making her own kind of music, being a voice of a generation.
On her eighth studio album, Hurts 2B Human, P!nk treads familiar ground. Her songs are best when they’re tender and emotional. On the album’s title track, P!nk sings alongside Khalid in this heartfelt ballad. Khalid, although a newbie in the pop world compared to P!nk, serves as the perfect duet partner with equally emotional and powerful vocals. The other duets on the album are likewise strong. “Love Me Anyway,” features country–singer Chris Stapleton, sounding very reminiscent of the pop–country mashups from “A Star is Born.” Surprisingly the the best duet on the album, “90 Days,” features Wrabel, a little–known pop–singer. This track is a hidden gem on the album, full of candid and sensitive vocals from both artists.
When she’s on her own, P!nk is equally successful. On “Happy,” P!nk reminds us that she’s always the underdog diva, and at her most confessional: “Since I was seventeen/I’ve always hated my body/ And it feels like my body hated me/ Can somebody find me a pill to make me unafraid of me/ Maybe I’m just scared to be happy.”
Over the years, P!nk continues to express the unchanged troubles and anxieties she’s faced. This ability to balance vulnerability with confidence is powerful. The track, “Courage,” too masters this art. P!nk is able to question her courage with strong and unrestrained vocals.
Another stand–out on the album is “Circle Game” in which P!nk sings about growing up, motherhood, and mortality. Her vocals are lighter and quieter paired with soft piano playing. You can almost sense the tears P!nk is holding back in this ballad. It doesn’t feature those infectious beats we heard on “What About Us” or “Just Give Me a Reason,” but it’s just as successful at expressing a depth of emotion.
Amongst all the sincerity and emotion, P!nk makes sure to give us at least one track we can dance to— “Can We Pretend.” On this track, she sings about wanting to let go and have fun on top of dance beats. With the line, "'Cause honestly, reality, it bores me” it sounds more like the carefree pop songs heard on the radio. It’s likely to be the most commercially successful track on the album.
On this latest album from P!nk, she puts her name back in the spotlight, reminding the world that she’s always been a special type of popstar. After all these years, she still portrays herself as the underdog, but this image works for her. Paradoxically, P!nk sings about growth, but the album is surprisingly consistent and unchanged from her prior works. She’s held back on some of her typical dance beats and loud rebellious vocals, but she maintains her vulnerable and confessional elements.