Friday, July 19th, 2013

P!nk ft. Lily Allen – True Love

Going nuclear (family)…


Will Adams: That chorus doesn’t sound like true love. There’ll be close readings of Lily Allen’s feature credit here for sure, but apart from that and the shuffling trip hop beat, there’s not much here.

Patrick St. Michel: The lyrical content here straddles a very thin line between capturing the “realness” of romance and just being misguided. I get that love can prompt strong emotions, many of them not all positive, but I think if you want to physically hurt your lover something is really really wrong in the relationship. The music, though, is just pure Sunday-morning laziness, with a goofy bounce and an at-times-crushing upbeatness. This would all be forgettable if Lily Allen hadn’t popped up late with a lovely interlude that totally upstages P!nk and makes me wish Allen would try recording some new music all her own. 

Iain Mew: I was not prepared for how startling and affecting hearing Lily Allen in full sigh mode again was going to be! It’s not even like she’s been away for that long, or like she gets more than a few lines. Yet, even though this is at the better-crafted end of P!nk’s songs, I’m still going to be waiting for Lily’s bit whenever I hear it.

Anthony Easton: This is exactly the P!nk I was expecting. This is exactly not the Lily Allen I was expecting. 

Katherine St Asaph: This trend of P!nk hiring guest vocalists then disappearing into their demo cadences needs to stop immediately; it’s more novel than being Max Martin Rocker Chick #5, but isn’t this what seniority gets you out of? (Note what P!nk does with “wrap your little brain around my fe-elings” — she doesn’t do glo’al stops like Lily, but you can hear where it was supposed to go — and then references “Not Fair” immediately after.) A Lily Allen lyric without Lily Allen singing is either a relief or a snotty hell, and whichever you think it is, there’s plenty there for you. But hey, Greg Kurstin’s here too, bringing the obvious pop. “I wanna hug you, I wanna wrap my hands around your neck” is a switcharoo as zingy as Carly Rae Jepsen‘s; the chorus bludgeons like a fire ax. If you think either of those are hell, I don’t want to hear it.

Mallory O’Donnell: If you require a mild, ingratiating post-downtempo track to celebrate a love/hate relationship this allegedly intense please don’t look me up when you’re ready to move on to your next one.

Jonathan Bradley: “Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say.” My feelings exactly, P!nk. (A mark off for the pointless cutaway to a tunelessly warbling Allen.)

Brad Shoup: I’m hearing that lilting “Be Real Black For Me” piano a lot this year. Definitely in “Same Love,” now here. I’m still fond of it, but my favorite bit here is the shrugging dah-dah-dah guitar pushing things along. Because she and Allen have gone and written a throwback AM pop tune, the song’s been processed accordingly, with P!nk sounding particularly dry. Anyway, I know there’s a song here, but all I’m hearing is a formalist singalong triumph.

Alfred Soto: P!nk’s so skilled at conversational cadences that I wondered what was different, and, of course, it was pledging troth to a hateful person. Despite Lily Allen, the sentiments feel rote and the song insubstantial. I mean, P!nk can cover “I Hate Myself For Loving You.”

Reader average: [5.88] (9 votes)

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8 Responses to “P!nk ft. Lily Allen – True Love”

  1. Cute but pedestrian.

    I find it hard to even form an opinion on Pink’s music. She’s basically made the same album three times in a row now, but I’m Australian, so I’m a fan, even if I’m not crazy about the tunes.

    I respect her more as a performer than anything else. “Try This” is my shit, though. That album is so underrated.

  2. I did not know she was that big in Australia!

  3. Pink’s level of popularity in Australia is probably on par with Madonna or Michael Jackson in the 80s. She sells nearly as many albums here as in the UK (with less than half the population), goes top 10 even with the tail-end singles off the albums, and can sell out a dozen stadium shows in Sydney and Melbourne. She seems to be popular with every age group too, I know some 50 and 60-somethings who love her. I really can’t explain the Pink mania (not to say she doesn’t have some brilliant singles, though this one is no “Try” or “Bad Influence” to say the least, but at least it’s not as bad as “I Don’t Believe You”) but it’s very real – I’d guess it’s on the same scale as Australia’s outsize love of ABBA, she’s just bigger here than everywhere else.

  4. Has she always been that popular there?

  5. The Truth About Love was #1 on our year end chart last year and The Greatest Hits was #1 for the year end chart in 2010.

    She also held the #2 spot for our year end chart in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for I’m Not Dead followed by Funhouse.

    She’s now had seven #1 singles here too.

    Safe Pop Rock is the recipe to success in Australia. Kelly Clarkson is quite popular too, though not on Pink’s level.

    In her early days Pink wasn’t huge here but once she showed dedication to her formula, her success was guaranteed.

  6. a bit standard but pretty nice. kind of like…a long-term marriage, actually! it has just enough detail to shine and has a lovely bounce (though there’s some iffy subtext to the “wrap my hands around your neck” line, Pink delivers it lightly enough that I think there’s leeway to interpret it metaphorically). I gave it a [7] and I’d give her entire album roughly that number too.

  7. Given that “There You Go” was a #2 and “Most Girls” a #1 I’d say she started out quite popular, dipped a little (but not that much) with the third album, then utterly exploded with I’m Not Dead and is still going very strong.

  8. I wonder if part of Pink’s immense popularity in Australia derives from the fact that she offers a pop music that isn’t particularly African American or traditionally feminine. Australia is a very multi-cultural country, but it’s cultural landscape is quite different to that of the United States, or even the United Kingdom, where migration from former colonies has resulted in a not insubstantial black population. Apart from her first album, Pink’s pop has been of a rock-oriented variety that better accords to Australia’s own music traditions and eschewed more foreign R&B sounds — there’s almost a pub rock edge to her aesthetic that suits Australian sensibilities well. Also, from her second album on she’s consciously sought to differentiate herself from a more overtly feminine mold of pop as exemplified by Britney, Christina etc., with “Stupid Girls” being the most overt manifestation of this. Such a move codes as authentic in a way that particularly agrees with Australian understandings; her rejection of “manufactured” pop came in the form of embracing not the black music that Americans understand as a form of authenticity (see Christina’s Back to Basics, for instance) but a different model, that of masculine-tinged rock and roll, along with the specific ideas of rebellion and independence associated with that. It’s not that pop stars like Rihanna or Beyoncé are incomprehensible to Australians — far from it — but I suspect Pink may be particularly comprehensible to us because she fits very comfortably with ideas that already have a strong hold within our culture.