The songstress cleverly combines emotional vulnerability with dance-floor energy.
After several years away from the music scene, P!nk has graced us with brand new music, in the form of ‘What About Us’, the lead single from her upcoming album Beautiful Trauma. While the song is not perfect, it allows P!nk to show off her vocal range, is composed well and reminds us all why she was such a superstar.
Starting with a slow emotional and stripped-back beat, she manages to show off her controlled vocal and lyrical capabilities. But there is a distinctive power behind the emotion. The song seems to rally a form of protest, suggesting that answers are needed (“We are problems that want to be solved/ We are children that need to be loved”) while the chorus (“What about us?/ What about all the times you said you had the answers?”) suggests that those in power to provide the answers fail to do so. The exact target is unclear, but I don’t think that matters. The song appeals to that basic feeling of being mistreated and ignored; feeling like your voice is not heard. P!nk’s powerful vocal tones are therefore perfectly deployed here.
The emotional vulnerability and club-beat are also cleverly amalgamated, to create a meaningful dance-floor filler. This is incredibly hard and normally ends up misbalanced or confused. ‘What About Us’ therefore manages to achieve an impressive feat, and I expect to see it playing in clubs across the country. The downside is that the vocal never hits its full potential: P!nk is capable of hitting impressive notes and that final vulnerability would have made the song perfect on every level. The absence of this just leaves you with a slight tinge of unfulfillment. Thankfully this does not detract from the overall power of the song too much.
As comeback’s go, P!nk has done very well (and Lady Gaga and Kesha might want to take some tips after their less successful comeback singles). The song has meaning and a vocal with power and force all while managing to combine emotion with electro-pop synthesizers. If this standard continues, Beautiful Trauma is a very exciting upcoming release.
‘What About Us’ is out now via RCA Records