Pink has been making hits for 13 years (!!!), but it’s possible she’s having the biggest hit of her career right now. It’s a little too early to tell, but early signs suggest that “Just Give Me a Reason,” her duet with Nate Ruess (of fun.) is about to become the dominant song of the spring. (That’s probably why it was nominated for a NewNowNext award. You can vote for it here.)
Consider this: It’s the third single from her Truth About Love album, which has sold 1.3 million copies since last September, yet it’s still the best selling digital song in America right now. Over a million people already own this track, is what I’m saying, but there are still plenty of people who want to download it. Neither of the album’s first two singles (“Try” and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”) topped the digital sales chart—and in fact, this only Pink’s third digital chart topper ever, after “So What” and “Fuckin’ Perfect”—which tells you that people are really connecting to this new hit.
Plus, the song’s airplay is exploding. I’m a big enough dork to track its daily airplay updates, and it is moving up the chart much faster than a typical single. Which means radio stations are jumping on it hard and fast… much faster, in fact, than they did on either “Blow Me” or “Try.”
And the video has been streamed online almost 50 million times. Not “Harlem Shake” numbers, perhaps, but when you add in sales and airplay, it’s obvious that this song is really working for people. (At the moment, it’s number 6 on the Hot 100, but it’ll be in the top 5 by next week.)
All of this makes me incredibly happy. As you might recall, I flipped out for “Just Give Me a Reason” six months ago, calling it the best song on Pink’s new album, and then a few weeks later, I said it was the best song released in all of 2012. And I stand by that. To me, it’s obvious why this song is catching on so fast. As I wrote in my original review:
[T]he song is musically interesting. For instance, the phrase “we can learn to love again” is sung in a different rhythm than the rest of the chorus. That’s startling and pleasing, and it reflects the rush of emotions these people are feeling. And then you get the escalating series of high notes in the bridge, with both Pink and Ruess infusing ache into their beautiful singing. It gives me chills.
I heard this song for the first time on my honeymoon in Australia, and it still has this effect on me.
So now I’d like to make a prediction: I don’t know if it will hit number one on the Hot 100—I hope it does—but I think in the long run, this song will not only be Pink’s best-selling single, but will also be nominated for Record and Song of the Year at the 2014 Grammy Awards. It just has that all-time-classic, shower-me-with-awards power, and even better for Grammy purposes, it doesn’t have curse words or a snotty attitude like some of Pink’s other hits. It’s a straight-up, crowd-pleasing power ballad.
At the very least, I want this song to win the NewNowNext Award for That’s My Jam. So let’s make that happen, okay? GO VOTE!
Mark Blankenship sings this song so much that it gets stuck in his husband’s head. Mark tweets as @IAmBlankenship.