Friday, March 8th, 2019

Pink – Walk Me Home

A new single by P!nk! What do we th!nk?


Katherine St Asaph: The first verse made me suspect this was the writing of Julia Michaels or Nate Ruess. Turns out it’s the latter, blowing “Some Nights” up even bigger until it could fill a megachurch on Jupiter. Which ensures that besides the beginning vocal, like making a speech synthesizer sing Ariana Grande’s “yuh,” “Walk Me Home” is the least interesting Pink’s music has been, even after a relatively uninteresting decade. I guess she finally let her get her.

Thomas Inskeep: Walk yourself home, with your fucking foot-stomp beat and acoustic guitar and “anthemic” chorus.

Ian Mathers: My favourite bit is probably the fact that if you just played me the first 8 seconds and asked me to guess I’d go with Pink being a bit fan of 22, A Million, but the whole thing is kind of satisfyingly sturdy. It’s catchy enough, the stomp and acoustic guitar are nice — it’s a tad underwhelming compared to her very best stuff, but surprisingly durable nonetheless. If anything, my biggest complaint is that in 2019 it feels like we need a little more specificity than just “there’s so much wrong goin’ on outside,” although that’s definitely a true statement.

Alfred Soto: “Ryan Tedder with lyric assist by Julia Michaels,” I thought on listening to the ABC drama closing credit music over clippety-cloppety beat. Nate Ruess is a worse guess. Pink’s impressive sustainability depended on holding on to her mix of woundedness and high energy; this surrender to received ideas is as dispiriting as unexpected midterm election returns.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A faux-inspirational love song whose decorum and stadium-friendly stomps trick listeners into thinking this has any actual meaning. “Walk Me Home” will still provide relief for the weary: placebo pop.

Danilo Bortoli: It’s been forever now since Pink first entered the realm of adult contemporary (statistically, since “Try” at least). She has of course not always been this way though: even when she bordered on gratuitous sentimentality, she made it with wit and courage. “Walk Me Home” repeats, sadly, a pattern of safety and conformity. A “sonic cathedral” in (big) sound but not in spirit. 

Alex Clifton: Pink has one of the most powerful voices in all of pop, but this is the first Pink song where I did not immediately identify her as the vocalist. If you manage to make Pink sound non-descript, you’ve really mucked something up. I like Pink best in loud party mode, but she can do ballads; “Who Knew” still kicks me in the gut every time I hear it. But “Walk Me Home” could’ve been recorded by Alessia Cara or Rachel Platten. It’s generic and lacks the requisite emotion. Ironically I kept thinking that this would have made a better fun. song from five years ago, only to find out that Nate Ruess had a hand in the song. It’s a shame as I thought his production worked so well on “Just Give Me a Reason,” but here it fails to hit those heights.  

Iris Xie: So we’re now past 2012 “End of the Mayan Calendar” bangers and into 2019 “Global Warming, Rise of Fascism, and the Fall of Late Crisis Capitalism” power ballads, huh? I find this song cute lyric-wise, because true, there is a lot going wrong outside in the world right now, and reaching out for reassurance from your loved ones is really important in troubling times like these. But those calls for intimacy are paired with an empty, bombastic beat that lessens the impact of these sentiments, and turns a “Walk Me Home” into a great song for a commercial, prime for well-edited uplifting footage to help support anxiety-induced purchasing habits. Alexa! Give me a song for the end of the world, please.

Edward Okulicz: Pink has quietly put together a career that puts her among the very top echelon of pop stars, as if her music narrowcasts loudly to her fans and lets her fly under the critical radar. I mean, have you met a Pink stan? Outside one of her concerts, they’re pretty quiet. What I’m getting at is that this is her worst ever lead single, being like Nate Ruess decided to write a country song and then Pink agreed to release it because nobody else would, but the album will still sell in massive numbers (despite its appalling name: Hurts 2B Human), so none of this matters. I’m not one of her biggest fans, but this one just doesn’t sound like her somehow.

Will Adams: There’s a world of difference between “Fucking Perfect” and this, despite being cut from the same inspiro-stomp cloth. Part of this is context — the “be yourself” anthems of the early ’10s have now become the “everything sucks” dirges of today, in this case rendered as blandly as “there’s so much wrong going on outside” — but most of it is Jack Antonoff. Once again, he tries to augment his mostly gray palette with “interesting” flourishes that just sound wrong: here, deep synthesized voices going “mmm-bluhh.” Pink more than most other pop acts has been able to sell this type of otherwise schmaltzy uplift, but with material as bland as she’s been given, even she’s beginning to sound cynical.

Scott Mildenhall: Pink’s place as the pop artist most likely to deploy a power ballad this decade has been a blessing. Who else could have released “Try” or “Just Give Me a Reason” and pulled them off with such aplomb? OK, Nate Ruess for the latter, but it feels somewhat that with “Walk Me Home,” he may have been less a help than a hindrance. Pink’s last thinly veiled allusion to The State Of Things was a rallying cry, but this time she sounds worn down, and not like on “Try.” When she performed this to open her ahistorical medley at the BRITs, it felt like a damp squib. Halfway ballad, halfway power ballad, and effectively neither, it’s weighed down by a fun.ny clomp.

Reader average: [3.66] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Pink – Walk Me Home”

  1. the specific speech synthesizer I had in mind was the one west of loathing uses for the el vibrato stuff, but couldn’t find which one that was