All I Know So Far: Setlist

P!nk

RCA, 2021

http://www.pinkspage.com/

REVIEW BY: Peter Piatkowski

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/07/2021

P!nk is a pop survivor and legend, a woman who debuted in 2000, competing with pop starlets like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore. Marketed as a pop/R&B singer, the singer rebelled against the strict confines of pop divadom, and though she never abandoned her mainstream pop roots – for all her punk/rock posturing, she’s a pop singer – she distinguished herself from her peers by releasing a string of albums that found that sweet spot where pop, pop-punk, dance, and R&B meet. Her throaty, soulful wail was an expressive instrument and she was a wonderful, insightful singer-songwriter, passionate and emotional. Unlike many of her colleagues, P!nk wasn’t shy to include social critique and political messaging in her pop music.

So with all this said, by the time she released All I Know So Far: Setlist, P!nk was eight albums into her career. The album is the soundtrack to her music documentary, which captured her Beautiful Trauma World Tour, supporting her 2017 album Beautiful Trauma. The show’s setlist works as a greatest hits sampler with some rock covers to remind audiences that she sees herself as a rock chick as well as a pop star. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

How one judges All I Know So Far depends on how much one likes P!nk’s music and how much one likes live albums. The benefit of live albums is when artists revisit their old hits in imaginative ways or when they interpret classics in a new version; the issue with contemporary pop stars like P!nk is that their concerts feel like live takes on their music videos. Contemporary pop concerts are also spectacles – P!nk herself uses visuals as much as her musical performances to put on a good show (in past concerts, she would spin around on aerial silks) and predictably, something does get lost in translating her shows to vinyl.

But there is still a lot to recommend with All I Know So Far. P!nk’s a great live performer. Her voice is supple and appealingly weathered. When she applies that muscular, anguished instrument to her radio hits, she creates magic. She does something great with the title track of her 2008 album Funhouse, mashing it with No Doubt’s “Just A Girl,” doing a great job of threading the ska-pop of the Stefani hit with her own tune. And she tears into an energetic “I Am Here” with verve, power, and gospel vigor. And the EDM remix of her hit “What About Us” introduced the audiences and listeners to P!nk’s social conscious (her Beautiful Trauma Tour took place during the Trump years)

Though the originals are the strongest bits on All I Know, the covers are solid, as well. P!nk’s rendition on “Time After Time” is beautiful. Cyndi Lauper’s hit is a pop classic and P!nk could be seen as our generation’s Cyndi Lauper – like Lauper, P!nk is a pop star who busted out on the pop charts with radio-made hits before exploring her artistic muses. Her take on Queen is not as good; it struggles underneath the weight of her rock star aspirations.

All I Know So Far is a strong, if at-times inconsistent record that is good for completists (though casual fans should pick up her greatest hits album, instead). Because this is an arena show, the sound, while very good, still feels swallowed by the enormity of the venue. A more intimate setting – maybe a theater – would serve this live album better, as would radically different arrangements of her hits. The by-the-numbers recreation of her radio hits makes this album a bit redundant, though there are just enough strange, left-of-center tracks to make this record worth seeking out.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


Comments









© 2021 Peter Piatkowski and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of RCA, and is used for informational purposes only.