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Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on Pink

Album_ArtworkHere’s the truth about Pink’s sixth album: It’s kind of irresistible.

On “The Truth About Love,” the coolly funky singer-songwriter is funny, self-deprecating and inspirational, all wrapped up in a cotton candy package tied with a spiked metal bow.

Sure, a song such as “Try” might be formulaic – a direct hit for Top 40 radio – but Pink excels at these glossy anthems that promote stick-to-it-ness and, given her usual candor in songs and interviews, these sentiments come across as authentic.

Meanwhile, “True Love” is the perfect Pink dichotomy. Stinging lyrics – “At the same time I wanna hug you, I wanna wrap my hands around your neck. You’re an a******, but I love you” –  are tempered by the song’s poppy vibe, skipping along on a perky chorus and notes that skitter across the keyboard.

The album is full of big hooks, guitar power chords and the occasional detour into something musically different enough from her past work to make you go, “Hmmm.” The appearance of Eminem on the synthesizer-filled stomper “Here Comes the Weekend” is proof of that, and on the title track, Pink eases into a groove that reminds of early Duran Duran that combines with girl group-styled harmonies to make it the album’s best track.

Georgia native – and longtime Pink pal – Butch Walker co-wrote the album’s opening song, “Are We All We Are,” which twitches electronic drums and is anchored by a chorus with elements of a children’s playground chant.

But as much as Pink likes to get her point across in a finger-in-your-face manner, she also can turn her roar down to an effective hum, which she does on “Beam Me Up,” a country-tinged ballad enhanced by strings and sung with an appropriate weariness.

Pink isn’t breaking any molds, but that’s OK, because the one she’s created is worth keeping around.

 

Also available Tuesday:

  • The Killers, “Battle Born,” which marks the return of the Las Vegas pop-rockers after a four-year absence. It might possibly be their grandest album yet, with elements of U2 and Springsteen peeking through majestic choruses (“Flesh and Bone”) and vivid lyrics (“Runaways,” “The Way It Was”). 

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  • Richie Sambora, “Aftermath of the Lowdown,” the third album from the underrated Bon Jovi guitarist. Though he’s explored his love of the blues on past solo efforts, he sticks to familiar terrain this time – polished pop-rock and massive hooks delivered in his pleasantly raspy voice.

 

  • Ben Folds Five, “The Sound of the Life of the Mind,” the return of the band that specializes in smart, sardonic piano-based music. They’ll be playing some of these new tunes – their first since 1999 – tonight at The Tabernacle.

 

  • Carly Rae Jepsen, “Kiss,” the second album from the Canadian twentysomething whose breakthrough hit you might have heard this summer. Something about calling, maybe? Pal Justin Bieber duets with her on “Beautiful.”

 

  • Band of Horses, “Mirage Rock,” the fourth album from the South Carolina-based indie rock band, recorded live in the studio and using analog equipment.

 

  • Rickie Lee Jones, “The Devil You Know,” her 14th album since 1979. This time, she went the all-covers route, tackling songs by The Rolling Stones (“Sympathy for the Devil”), The Band (“The Weight”) and Donovan (“Catch the Wind”). Ben Harper produced.

 

  • Aimee Mann, “Charmer,” a new collection of songs from the dryly droll singer-songwriter, which she says were influenced by the “super pop” of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

 

  • Sean Paul, “Tomahawk Technique,” the latest from the dancehall star, offering guest shots from Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland and Alexis Jordan.

 

  • Dwight Yoakam, “3 Pears,” his first album since 2007. The Washington Post says that on one song, Yoakam sounds like “a country-fried Roy Orbison.”  

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

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