Being shrouded under a blanket of metric and textural blandness, there were some surprising traits that made the music moderately enjoyable, from lively melodic lines to actual effective solo acoustics at the end, but the only real positive was the ability to keep listeners in the moment by not being too annoying and having small spots of melodic satisfaction, which was rather impressive given the complete lack of structural attraction.
As a whole, these song structures are well too plain in their composition to create anything of substance or impact. The meter was consistently a drudging 4/4, there was no rhythmic manipulation, and no personality or development to the basic, ordinary textures. When it comes to comparing against the greats, P!nk has never really stood a chance with the lack of structural attraction in her music, and this album goes beyond what was needed to exemplify that. Blandness, being one recognizable trait, negatively affects every aspect of music. However, others have done it much worse in the past. There’s no possibility for this work to be regarded as strong, but once you get past the fact that this music is shrouded under a blanket of blandness, there are some recognizable positive traits and the songs have the ability to be moderately enjoyable. The melodic lines were actually given life and the freedom to dictate the character of the songs themselves. Some of them failed at finding intrigue with over-repetition of lackluster shapes or boring pace, as in “Beautiful Trauma” and “Better Life”, but most of them had at least one passage of satisfaction or steadiness that helped the listener to focus on being in the moment rather than the overall lack of a strong musical backbone. Also, within this blanket, rarely did any musical decision come off as pathetic or idiotic. Even though the same four chords were rampant, there was always a little extra presentation being done from song to song that made each section of the album seem to have their own unique identities, which was a plus in this otherwise tasteless atmosphere. Again, the music really could have used more, or any, invigorating instrumental additions, but rarely did the thin synthetic pop sound reach a level of annoyance or disgust. Only in the last three songs, though, was an accompanying instrument actually used to positively effect the mood and feeling. The guitar in “I Am Here” and the piano in “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” and “You Get My Love” had a voice of their own and worked quite nicely with the dominant melodic layer. In fact, melody was overtaken in these songs by decent use of solo instruments and harmonic progressions that actually had direction and flare. Granted, the instruments were still very plain in their musical substance, but texturally they did well to provide a nice calming way to end such an erratic album. When trying to emancipate the listener and give them carefree joy, P!nk fell flat and uninspiring. When the process seemed less fixed and P!nk was seemingly just writing songs about how she felt, there was much more room for the listener to appreciate the music despite the overall plainness compared to other singer-songwriters. If she made her intentions and process from these last three songs the basis of an entire work, she may have something worthwhile after all. Instead, there were too many different ideas she tried to shove in here, and she just isn’t that talented of a songwriter to make something appealing out of all of it.
Final Score: 108/180