BOTTOM LINE Blending the personal with the pop.
Pink’s seventh album, “Beautiful Trauma” (RCA), takes the confessional tone she has succeeded with in recent years and makes it her focus.
Of course, Pink does it her way, though, throwing in plenty of twists to keep people guessing. The biggest surprise is Eminem’s arrival on “Revenge,” which even adopts a groove similar to “My Name Is” at the beginning that Pink raps and sings over, as the unlikely duo debate the merits of revenge on exes, something they both know something about. On “I Am Here,” she goes from Lumineers alt-country to gospel hoedown in a matter of moments, creating something both wild and spiritual. In the album’s title track, she bounces between extremes to try to explain her relationship — “my perfect rock bottom, my beautiful trauma, my love, my love” — and with help from Jack Antonoff builds a catchy musical backdrop to match.
The first single, “What About Us,” best captures Pink’s mood for the album — infusing a poignant ballad with radio-friendly dance beats and adopting the lyrical stance of imperfect, but defiant, that she carries through most of the album. On “For Now,” she crafts a potent guitar ballad that is idiosyncratically hers. “Can’t we just freeze frame, pause, rewind, stop,” she sings over a spare arrangement. “And get back to the feelings we think we lost for now?” Her twist on cherishing simpler times, “Barbies,” is another treasure — another example of how underrated Pink is as a songwriter.
She wrote or co-wrote everything on “Beautiful Trauma” and it shows. (Sadly, none of the reported collaborating she did with Billy Joel shows up here.) Everything feels personal and confessional, like Pink was talking about her life over dinner.
Sure, over the course of an album, things may get a bit repetitive. However, her unique perspective on pop makes the whole uplifting, painful trip worthwhile.