Pink’s new album The Truth About Love is about to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. It’ll be her first number one album in this country, and if her marketing team has its way, it will be blasting out of every speaker in every mall for the next two years.
Since I’ve ranked all her singles, you probably know that I love me some Pink, and now I’m going to confess something scandalous: Earlier this month, when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Australia, I bought her new album before its official release date. Yes! I got it at an old-fashioned record store that displayed the album before it was supposed to go on sale. Oh, the thrill! The illicit thrill of getting my hands on those songs a few days early!
Naturally, I loaded that mess on my iPod right away. And as always with Pink’s albums, there are a few songs I adore, several that I really like, and a few that irritate me. (This song, for instance, is abrasively loud, shamelessly rips off the band Blur, and seems cynically calculated to shock us. And this one is a meandering collection of ideas that features a pointless verse from Eminem.)
But that’s okay, you know? The good Pink songs are always so good that they make me forgive the bad ones. Of course, with this new album, I’m not sure we’ll agree about what the best songs are.
For instance, I am obsessed with “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink’s duet with Nate Ruess, the lead singer of Fun.
To my ears, this is one of the best songs she’s ever recorded. It’s clearly co-written by Ruess, since it has the same Queen-meets-REM theatrical grandeur of “Some Nights” or “We Are Young.” However, it also boasts the vulnerable lyrics of Pink’s best work. The result is a direct, urgent ballad about lovers who can’t communicate.
Even better, the 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 emotion 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 think “Just Give Me a Reason” sounds like a number one hit, and when I bought the album in Australia, it was listed on the packaging—along with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Try”—as one of the “featured tracks.” So I’m guessing it’ll eventually be a single. Several critics have liked it, too.
But I stand by my hit, y’all! “Just Give Me a Reason” forever! And if it does become a number one single, I promise I won’t gloat. Too much.
Mark Blankenship took a month off to get married, but he’s delighted to be back in the pop music saddle at NewNowNext. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.