Life, love and parenthood have taught Pink a lot. Just listen to her eighth studio album, Hurts 2B Human, and you’ll see what I mean.
An autobiographical compilation, this 13-track effort feels like a thematic continuation of her her last album, Beautiful Trauma. She touches on the joys and difficulties of marriage, the struggles of parenting and the reality of broken and fulfilled dreams.
But while Pink has stayed true to herself thematically, she’s incorporated some variation in genre here: This time around, she’s teamed up with big names such as Khalid and Chris Stapleton, adding stylistic depth to this messy, touching confessional.
Pink longs to know the depths of her husband’s heart in “The Last Song of Your Life.” She tells him that his authentic self is his best self, and that she only wants what’s real: “What is it you wait for?/Tell me who you are/Not what you rehearsed, all the other parts.” Similarly, she’s learning to be vulnerable in “My Attic.” She confesses, “My attic is full of pages, full of crazy/Cluttered spaces that you could not cross,” but she hopes that revealing her true self won’t scare her husband away: “I keep hiding the keys in all these/Places even I can’t find/ … And I wanna let you inside my attic.”
Pink wants to change for the better in “Courage”: “I need to grow, here I could be/Closer to light, closer to me/Don’t have to do this perfectly.” Some bad habits that need to go show up on “Happy,” where she admits: “I don’t wanna be this way forever/Keep telling myself that I’ll get better/Every time I try, I always stop me/Maybe I’m just scared to be happy.”
In “Circle Game,” Pink admits that while growing pains are natural, they’re still hard: “Oh, where’s the book that shows you how to be a big girl now?/Can I fall apart one more time before I work it out?”
The world can be a confusing, difficult place, but Pink finds refuge from it all with the one she loves in “Hurts 2B Human.” She (profanely) admits, “Without you, I’d be losing/And someday we’ll face the music/God, it hurts to be human/But I’ve got you.” Similar sentiments are heard on “Walk Me Home.”
Pink wants to set relational boundaries in “90 Days” and “Hustle,” even if she’s not always good at doing so. In the former she says: “If I’m just somebody that you’re gonna leave/ … Just let me down slowly, I’ll be OK.” And on the latter, we hear: “You took my love, mistook it for weakness/I guarantee I won’t repeat this.”
“Can We Pretend” finds Pink reminiscing about easier times.
This album, despite its many positive moments, is still quite explicit. F-words and s-words are scattered throughout. God’s name is misused multiple times in “Hurts 2B Human.” And other profanities, such as “bada–,” “h—,” d–n” and “b–ch” are frequently heard.
Pink opens up about her inner struggles on “Happy.” And while this isn’t necessarily negative, it is mature content. She talks about hating herself at a young age (“Since I was 17/I’ve always hated my body”), using drugs and alcohol to cover her pain (“I take another hit, I find another fix”) and believing the lies in her mind (“Seen every therapist/But I’m a cynical b–ch/ … My head always messes up my heart, no matter what I do”).
“We Could Have It All” and “Love Me Anyway” both touch on feelings of hopelessness and fear in a relationship. In the first, Pink feels that she and her husband have missed the mark: “So close, so close weren’t we?/We almost had it.” And in the second, she ask her husband if he’ll stay, even if she does her worst: (“Flirt with all the other boys/ … Even I scandalize you, cut you down and criticize you/Tell a million lies about you/What would you say?”).
Pink profanely hints at a dysfunctional relationship (“Hey, why you f—ed up my life?”) and suggestive moments (“Can’t-find-my-clothes kind of love”) in “(Hey Why) Miss You Sometime.” Similar themes are heard on “90 Days,” “Hustle,” and “Can We Pretend.”
An allusion to a drunken night pops up on “Walk Me Home.”
Pink has always been hard to pin down, a mix of brutal honesty and wounded brokenness. A talented, beautiful woman, she’s often sought to shock by being open and transparent in painfully vulnerable ways.
If you’ve heard any of her previous work, you know that Alecia Beth Moore’s life hasn’t been easy, and that she’s not shy in admitting it. This typically means two things: First, she gets at the heart with sweet confessionals and hopeful longings. Second, she often does this by using profanity and mature content.
Hurts 2B Human is no different.
There are a lot of hopeful, encouraging lyrics here, lyrics that many will be able to relate to. But there’s also plenty of mature content here, often delivered with harsh profanity.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).