From country to rap, there’s something new for all music lovers this fall.
NEW YORK — On Friday, Pink releases her first album in five years, Beautiful Trauma. But don’t call it a “comeback.”
“It’s always a reset in pop music,” she says, curled on a sofa in a cavernous suite at the Greenwich Hotel. “If you’re taking a nap, you’re having a ‘comeback’ the next time you put a song out. It’s like starting over every time.”
As a matter of fact, the Grammy-winning pop rebel (born Alecia Moore) has gotten very little rest since 2012’s The Truth About Love, her first No. 1 album in the United States after more than a decade of releasing music under the moniker Pink.
In years to follow, she’s supported Truth on a 140-date world tour; recorded an album as folk duo You + Me with friend Dallas Green; contributed hit Just Like Fire to Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass soundtrack; and given birth to son Jameson, 9 months (her second child with husband Carey Hart, after daughter Willow, 6).
“The difference between this record and a lot of other records was I was living a normal life while writing,” says Pink, 38. “Normally, since I was 19, I’ve gone: ‘Make a record, promo, go on tour. Make a record, promo, go on tour.’ It’s been this cycle. This is the first time I’ve been like, ‘Take my daughter to preschool. Go on a date with my husband.’ It’s real life that’s been on my mind.”
It shows in the music, which finds the singer pushing herself to breathtaking vocal heights, and expressing her concerns about societal and global issues. Soulful doo-wop Better Life rejects the notion of picture-perfect lives that people post on Instagram, while piano ballad Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is a feminist rallying cry. Electronic-tinged first single What About Us shines a light on ostracized groups, with a peaceful message of tolerance and unity.
“Normally, I lead off with, ‘What’s your snarliest, loudest anthem for the first single?’ ” Pink says. But “I wasn’t feeling that way as much.”
Seven albums in, “I’ve exorcised a lot of those demons,” she continues. “‘(Expletive) you’ — I’ve said that a thousand times and I’ve meant it every time. I’ll probably say it again, but for right now, I’ve been more in a place of, ‘What’s right for me?’ and ‘Who am I?’; ‘marriage sucks’ and ‘marriage is rad.’ Long-term relationships are hard work, and sometimes it gets really lonely.”
As is a common theme among some of her biggest hits including So What and Please Don’t Leave Me, her impassioned relationship with Hart is the foundation for some of the album’s most heartfelt tracks, such as the confessional Whatever You Want and powerhouse closer You Get My Love.
By now, “he’s used to” being the subject of songs, Pink says. “I don’t even think he’s listening half the time. He’s just like, ‘Good stuff, Babe,’ and I’m like, ‘Thanks, Honey.’ ”
Like any marriage, theirs is a work in progress. They wed in 2006 after five years of dating, but briefly separated two years later due to tensions caused by work and constant traveling (hers for music, his with motocross racing).
Now, “he’s really good,” she says. “He knows when he goes too far and he’ll apologize, which is a wonderful trait in a human being. I do not possess that trait: I will go too far and still not apologize. It’s awful to be married to me. He’s the rock and I’m the storm, but it’s fun.”
Although the couple has said in the past that they would like to have more kids, “I think he’s done; he’s really tired,” Pink admits. “We may adopt one day, but I think we’ve created the humans we’re going to make and they’re magical creatures.”
In support of Beautiful Trauma, Pink will release an Apple Music documentary about the making of the album Friday, and embark on a three-month North American tour in March. Despite being told that “women over 35 don’t get played” on the radio, What About Us soared to No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart this week, making it her 28th entry on the singles chart.
She believes her key to career longevity has been that “I’m very immature. I have the mentality of a 17-year-old boy,” Pink jokes. “I have no idea! I’m a person with a lot to say. I can be very polarizing, but when I’m honest, I’m willing to be vulnerable. It resonates with people, because I’m not reinventing the wheel: I’m living my life and everybody else is, too. We’re all going through (stuff) and traumatized by the world we live in, but there’s a lot of fun to be had.”
As for where she’ll be in another 20 years?
“Looking for my Xanax and my phone,” she says, cackling. “You’re like, ‘Good luck, lady.’ “
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