Pink’s ‘The Truth About Love’: Review Revue

Sam Lansky | September 18, 2012 3:12 pm

It’s been four long years since Pink‘s last full-length studio album Funhouse, which marks The Truth About Love as an especially anticipated return for the ferocious pop-rocker — but does it live up to the hype? The critics have largely reached a consensus: While it may not be her very best album (which would be a lofty goal to set), it’s nonetheless an exceptional offering from Pink that delivers the same attitude, wit and crunchy pop hooks that her fans have grown to expect. While Our review is glowing, not everyone shared our viewpoint. And while we don’t mind a little critical debate, Pink herself might feel otherwise: Rolling Stone ‘s dour review prompted the singer to tweet a snarky response: “Remember when people actually read Rolling Stone? I don’t either.”

Check after the drop for our roundup of The Truth About Love‘s reviews: The good, the bad and the ugly. (Don’t worry — they’re mostly good.)

:: Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A, raving that her songwriting is stronger than ever: “Pink may be the best lyricist in pop music. And that’s not just because she’s willing to be as tough on herself as she is on the clueless authority figures, one-night stands, and wrongheaded husbands who inhabit her songs. Instead of playacting the expected pop archetypes — brat, vixen, victim — she presents herself as, well, herself: a knockabout girl who has done some living, not a precocious cipher playing a well-rehearsed role. The storytelling on The Truth About Love, Pink’s sixth album and first full-length since 2008’s Funhouse, is unfalteringly vibrant, loaded with righteous anger, irreverence, and a clear eye for the darker side.”

:: Billboard‘s track-by-track review kicks off auspiciously: “The Truth About Love is a peerlessly witty, endlessly melodic tour de force. The album has moments that will make Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and countless others who’ve followed in Pink’s footsteps calling their A&R guys immediately to recreate them.”

:: The A.V. Club gave the LP a B-, noting that Pink seems less confident in her identity on this album than in its predecessors: “On The Truth About Love, Pink does the unthinkable: She starts to recede. Deliberately or otherwise, she seems to shapeshift from track to track in order to ape the sound and style of any number of her contemporaries.”

:: The Guardian‘s often-fickle Caroline Sullivan gave the album a four-star review out of five, opening: “Pink is easily the most idiosyncratic of the current cohort of high-gloss American pop singers – the only one bold enough to write songs that give free rein to her ugly, brattish side. When she’s “had a shit day”, or wakes up hating her husband, or is simply enraged that women who want uncommitted sex are considered “sluts”, she funnels her thoughts into some of the most pungent songs in pop.”

:: The Chicago Tribune awarded the album a middling 2.5 stars out of four, writing that “Formula production and hack songwriting intrude, but Pink’s personality keeps pushing against the smooth surfaces. Call it a draw – it’s not the left-field pop classic she seems capable of one day creating, but it also contains a handful of tracks that laser in on exactly what she does best.”

:: The Washington Post concludes their review by noting that Pink is pretty much the best at what she does: “And while the sort of edgy, expletive-laced pop that made Pink such a standout 12 years ago is pretty commonplace these days, when Pink tells her heart’s desire that ‘sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face’ on ‘True Love,’ it’s pretty clear that she’s still peerless when it comes to making aggressive, attitudinal love songs.”

:: Slant Magazine frets that the singer may have gone complacent rather than pushing herself: “Despite the album’s title, which sounds like a bad romantic comedy, and the fact that she’s now a mother, Pink thankfully hasn’t gone soft, and there are no real clunkers here, but the truth about The Truth About Love is that it’s competently, often frustratingly more of the same from an artist who still seems capable of much more.”

:: Rolling Stone still gave Pink three stars out of five, but savaged her in the body of the review: “Pink doesn’t sing songs. She mauls them, gobbling the microphone like a hyena that hasn’t eaten in a week. At her best, she is pop’s most galvanizing tough broad, but her sixth LP devolves into self parody. Co-written with studio aces like Max Martin and Greg Kurstin, it delivers power-chord packed electro-pop, and the lyrics cover the usual subjects: self-reliance, sex, rebellion. It’s supercatchy, but Pink strains to shock, peppering songs with gratuitous curse words.”

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