Let it be said that “Try” should have been Pink’s first single from “The Truth About Love,” in lieu of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).” The latter title has all the bratty, attitudinal connote to be expected from the pop star, but it’s “Try” that has heart.
And “Try” got the better video. Pink shows off her showmanship and physical abilities with a partner in this emotional dance piece, set in the desert (oh, goodie, a desert!) and an empty house. They depict the toil a warring couple goes through to get to stasis — or before they collapse into each other’s arms. It seems less to insinuate actual abuse, but the emotional peaks and valleys between lovers. It’s very powerful, particularly since both performers hold their own in the give-and-take of command.
Plus the styling is rad and I kinda want to live in a cloud of neon pink. But A- because of flying chairs. What the hell.
It’s a challenging, sexually charged and not-always-pleasant piece for Pink. The singer — whose pride has been on her rebel-girl, outsider’s prom queen moxy — has me thinking about the year 2000. That is, that same year, she had her first two top 10 hits, sharing the charts with other solo female pop stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears (“Oops!… I Did It Again,” my gosh), Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah and Madonna. (I’ll even through Destiny’s Child in there, but that’s about the time it was Beyonce’s show anyway.)
Talent show judge, talent show judge, recovering talent show judge, deceased, talent show judge, semi-retired from music, deceased… Madonna continues to be one of the hardest working women in entertainment today, while also making movies. Beyonce just dropped out of a film project that would have come on the heels of her fourth solo album “4,” which didn’t enjoy the commercial successes of her previous three.
This is not to be a blanket criticism of these women, but rather a commentary on the fragile shelf-life of what it is artists like Pink do. At 33, she’s not just getting by, but kicking ass in this popular music eco system whose veterans struggle within it. What does it bode for Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift in the future? Will their “window” shut on traditional album-making even earlier? Will Pink still be around to make a duet with them and then pirouette into the desert sunset?