5 Years after the release of her last studio album, What About Us marks P!nk’s comeback to the spotlight. The previous record, The Truth About Love, was a major success; The album sold over 5 Million copies worldwide and featured 3 hit singles, including the mega-smash Just Give Me A Reason. The era also awarded her with 3 Grammy nominations, one for “Best Pop Vocal Album” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Song of the Year for Just Give Me A Reason.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the stakes were quite high. P!nk is considered a Pop music veteran – her first album was released 17 years ago and she has maintained a high level of success ever since. So is What About Us going to continue her consistency?
Let’s look into the song. What About Us is probably P!nk’s most mainstream single to date. It is definitely radio candy and doesn’t really feature any Pop/Rock elements which we’re so used to from P!nk. The song is extremely current, both musically and lyrically. It starts off relatively quiet, then gradually builds up – from a ballad-y verse to an electronic driven chorus. On the second verse though, the song “resets” back to its more ballad influenced instrumental, then builds up again and leads into a breakdown after the second chorus. This structure contributes heavily to the song’s anthemic feel. However, it is mostly the empowering lyrics that give the song its knock.
“What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about us? What about all the plans that ended in disaster?”
The song is definitely political, especially seeing the current political climate America finds itself right now – can however also be interpreted in many different ways. Even though it has a political touch, at no point does the song come across as pushy or obnoxious. It delivers its messages extremely smoothly and genuinely.
A last important point left for discussion is P!nk’s vocals. Her vocal delivery is very convincing. Not that it hasn’t been in the past, P!nk has always been known for her vocal consistency. But on this one, the vocals go hand in hand with the emotions felt from the lyrics really nicely. The vocal range on the track is actually quite nice and it features a couple of really nice adlibs and belts.
Overall, it is noteworthy that the track itself does not really have P!nk’s stamp on it. Just looking at the general feel of its production one could say that musically, it doesn’t have much identity. From what the instrumental sounds like, this could be any Pop stars’ single. However, because of the fact that this turned into something so anthemic through its lyrics, P!nks vocals and her emotive capabilities, the song does gain its own identity as a P!nk song.