On Pink's new album, she's writing about volatile relationships, again—albeit mostly their upside this time. "I hate you, I really hate you —so much I think it must be true love," she sings, providing a tip-off that there's more loving than loathing on The Truth About Love, her sixth studio album.
Pink is having a very splashy mid-September, between the Tuesday release of Truth About Love and her weekend appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Although she's long been known as the gal who was ready to "get this party started," much of her songwriting over the years has been more lovelorn than celebrative. That's not so much the case with Truth, which suggests that Pink is experiencing enough domestic tranquility that she has a real reason to party now.
Pink has said that her previous album was written and recorded when she was an emotional mess, having been separated from Carey Hart. Now that they've been married for six years and have entered a more tranquil phase of their relationship, with added joy in the form of daughter Willow, her writing has taken a different turn. The truth about Pink? Maybe it's that she doesn't have many songs quite as sad as "Leave Me Alone" in her anymore.
Which isn't to say that her new songs all live up to her adopted name. There are a lot of of black and blue emotions—and plenty purple language—on the collection. Yahoo! Music had an advance listen to the set, and here are our initial impressions of some of the tracks:
"True Love." Her duet with Cooper doesn't mince words. "You're an a--h--- but I love you," Pink sings. "Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say," she adds, but "I know life would suck without you." The music is sheer ear candy, but romantic resolution in this one is hard-fought as well as playful: "Just once, try to wrap your little brain around my feelings!... Repeat after me: r-o-m-a-n-c-e. Say it slowly. You can do it, baby!"
"Just Give Me a Reason." One of three duets on the album, this one has her trading verses with Nate Ruess of the band fun. The dysfunctional pairing is hardly fun and games. "I was your willing victim," she sings over an initial solo piano part. "You've been talking in your sleep, things you never say to me..." When Ruess comes in, he affects a certain cluelessness. "Sorry, I don't know where all this is coming from," he sings. "I thought we were fine/It's all in your mind." As the electronic beat picks up, they find common ground in the hope of a fix: "We're not broken, just bent, and we can learn to live again."
"Here Comes the Weekend." She gets a little—okay, lot—less serious in her duet with Eminem. Marshall Mather's contributions set the light tone: "I'm not Puffy, but Im-a run the city tonight/When I hit it, I might act like a freakin' idiot/Diddy mixed with a medieval knight." Pink, for her part, doesn't sound terribly "Sober": "We don't look for trouble/ Just enough to seeing double."
"The Great Escape." The album's Big Ballad has Pink playing a consoling older sister to someone who might be down enough to be thinking of suicide. "I won't let you make the great escape," she wails. "I'm never gonna watch you checking out of this place." But there's no mistaking how far gone she thinks her "terrified of the dark" friend is: "I feel like I could wave my fist in front of your face, and you wouldn't flinch or feel a thing." Escapist it's not.
"How Come You"re Not Here." This one's more of a rocker, as Pink gets back in touch with her angrier side: "Come on home/It ain't super-smart to leave me alone..." And: "I've heard some rumors about another girl/I've heard she's cute but she still looks like a squirrel." (Pop stars don't have the courage to use that "girl"/"squirrel" rhyme nearly enough.) Pink also chides her lover for having an (alleged) other woman who "still gets carded for beer." Hate to break it to you, Pink, but that's not a negative for most fellas.
"The Truth About Love." The title track brings her as close to being a grunge-rocker as Pink will ever be. The truth about love, she asserts, "is it's all a lie/I thought you were the one and I hate goodbyes." But there's another truth that seems to attract Pink, which is that besides love being "rage and hate" and "the hunt and the kill," it's also "all the poetry you've ever heard."
"Try." Sheer self-help and inspiration abound in this simple, mid-tempo ballad with a beat. "Where there's a flame, you're bound to get burned/But just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die/You gotta get up and try."
"Are We All We Are." Soon to be heard in sportscasts everywhere, here's a different version of Pink being inspirational: "If your s--- is not together, it'll never be." Somebody's channeling Knute Rockne!
Linkin Park, Brad Paisley, Aerosmith, Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige and six other superstar artists will perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 22. Green Day, Lil Wayne, Rihanna and Miranda Lambert are among the acts playing Friday, September 21, the event's opening night. The shows begin at 7 p.m. PST and will be streamed exclusively on Yahoo! Music.