To have the kind of longevity Pink has had so far and to still be topping the charts is pretty remarkable. For an artist that came out around the time that Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were battling for supremacy on the charts, few would have betted on Pink being the artist that would still be notching up the hits. Following the release of her 2000 debut album Can’t Take Me Home, which saw her marketed as an R&B artist, Pink changed up her style straddling pop and rock, and saw her career rocket. Seven albums in, Pink has just released Hurts 2B Human, the follow-up to her 2017 chart-topping album Beautiful Trauma.
The arrival of Hurts 2B Human was a quick one by Pink’s standards and she announced the album unexpectedly during an appearance on Ellen. Lead single Walk Me Home takes inspiration from The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which has dominated the charts for months. It’s trademark Pink but with a bigger production than we’ve heard before in an attempt to give the song an anthem-like feel. It works and the accompanying video is pretty spectacular, as you’d expect from a performer of Pink’s calibre.
For the most part Hurts 2B Human is a pretty safe Pink record. It’s a mixture of the feisty and fun sound that we love her for with a spattering of heartfelt ballads that show off her vocal chops. She’s not reinventing the wheel here but when she’s selling out stadiums and topping the charts, you can see why she (and her label) are keen for her to stick closely to her tried and tested formula.
There are some moments that hint at something deeper and a little different. 90 Days featuring Wrabel features vocoder harmonies and lyrically it touches on the subject matter suggested by the album’s title. Can We Pretend featuring Cash Cash is a euphoric dance moment about ignoring reality so you can let go and enjoy yourself while title track Hurts 2B Human incorporates EDM rhythms and a feature from flavour of the moment Khalid.
The moment that shows what the album could have been, for me any way, is Love Me Anyway featuring Country superstar Chris Stapleton. It’s stunning and lifted by the emotive vocal harmony of Stapleton and the nuanced delivery from Pink during the verses.
Elsewhere on the record it’s pretty much business as usual. Hustle and We Could Have It All could be changed with album tracks from previous releases, and My Attic, while pleasant enough, isn’t likely to grab your attention as it breezes past. The best of the ballads is probably Courage but again, it’s not particularly new ground for Pink.
Hurts 2B Human isn’t one of Pink’s best albums but it’s still an enjoyable listen. I had hoped for deeper lyrics than are present on much of this and I think she’s played the whole record a little too safe. There are moments to savour and it’ll sell well, but I hope she comes back with something a bit fresher and more unexpected for her ninth record.
Track list: 1. Hustle 2. (Hey Why) Miss You Sometime 3. Walk Me Home 4. My Attic 5. 90 Days (feat. Wrabel) 6. Hurts 2B Human (feat. Khalid) 7. Can We Pretend (feat. Cash Cash) 8. Courage 9. Happy 10. We Could Have It All 11. Love Me Anyway (feat. Chris Stapleton) 12. Circle Game 13. The Last Song of Your Life Record label: RCA Release date: 26th April 2019 Buy Hurts 2B Human