P!nk Invites Us Into Her Beautiful Trauma

The first time I saw and heard P!nk’s music was when her video for There You Go came on, while I was watching MTV. Yes, back when MTV still showed videos (dating myself a little here). A pint-sized diva with fuchsia hair, baggy clothes and enough badass rock star presence to spare. And there was that voice – bold, powerful, gritty, raw and very beautiful.

The fuchsia hair may be gone, but marriage and two kids later, the bad-ass rock star is still very present, albeit a bit mellower. And so is that voice.

While my first introduction to P!nk was through her debut album Can’t Take Me Home,  like many others, my relationship as a die-hard fan of hers didn’t start until her sophomore album, Misundaztood. It was the album that truly introduced Alecia Moore to the world, as she told her truth with complete unfiltered and unapologetic honesty.

Misundaztood was the start of P!nk’s journey to sharing her life with the world as honestly (sometimes brutally so), as possible. That honest and unfiltered journey has continued throughout the years on many subsequent albums, including 2012’s beautifully crafted The Truth About Love.

And it is a journey that has brought her here, to the brilliant Beautiful Trauma, P!nk’s seventh full-length studio album.  Delivering her usual collection of pop/rock anthems that speak to her feelings on life, love and social issues, Beautiful Trauma is vintage P!nk in all the best ways.

The album’s first single, What About Us, is a bombastic anthem rallying against social injustices. While many consider the song’s message as specifically “Anti-Trump”, P!nk has made it clear that it is an attack on all governments and their failure to do better, as well as all the hate and divisiveness that currently exists.

The album’s title track treads some very familiar waters, detailing P!nk’s long and one would say a rather tumultuous relationship with longtime love and husband, Carey Hart.  At this point, there isn’t a person who is a P!nk fan, and hell, even if you’re not a fan, who is unaware of the turbulent journey of her and Carey’s relationship.

It’s been fraught with many ups and downs, multiple breakups and reconciliations, always with the clear understanding that there is a deeply powerful and beautiful connection between the two. P!nk sums up that complex dichotomy perfectly in the following lines, “It was you/The pill I keep taking/The nightmare I’m waking/There’s nothing, no nothing but you/My perfect rock bottom/My beautiful trauma/My love, my love…”

While the loud, unapologetic wild child is still very present in many ways (see the cheekily biting Revenge featuring Eminem), Beautiful Trauma does show a slightly softer, one would say more grown-up version of P!nk.

The most ballad-heavy of her albums, Beautiful Trauma finds a wistful P!nk, yearning for the innocent days of playing Barbies in her room, for a simpler time when life wasn’t as complicated. However, complicated is what P!nk does best as when she sings of her relationship struggles in For Now with lines like, “Now it’s like I lied/When I said I didn’t need you/Alright if you’d left I’d never be/Tonight can we just get it right/Somehow, for now…”

The truth is, life is often messy and complicated. And it is P!nk’s fearlessness in showing us her truth in all its messiness and complications that make her one of the most real and honest artists. And of course, there is that voice. Always that voice – soaring, heartbreaking and beautiful. P!nk invited us into her Beautiful Trauma and we are very grateful for it.

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