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Meet “Heaven knows,” PinkPantheress debut album

Heaven knows cover
“Heaven knows” cover

Three years after PinkPantheress released her debut single, she released her long awaited debut album, “Heaven knows.” PinkPantheress initially released her first song “Pain” on TikTok in 2020, following up with other songs such as “Break it Off” and “Passion,” using TikTok as a testing ground for her music.

In 2021, PinkPantheress released her first EP “To Hell With It.” This short, 10 song, 18 minute EP featured a combination of alternative pop, R&B and Y2K influences. Like other artists, such as Poppy and Grimes, this album features futuristic, strangely soothing vocals– almost like she’s whispering in your ear.

”Heaven knows,” a lighter and lengthier collection of songs, presents a more extroverted and experimental aspect of PinkPantheress music over the last three years. “To Hell With It” was a rough draft of what her new work would become in “Heaven knows,” with this album sketching defining lines around her music and sound, which in “To Hell With It” I think she struggled with. Her songs went less in depth and really only scratched the surface.

The album opens with a soft, ghost-like string of piano keys but quickly speeds up, warping into a bright, fast-paced classic alternative pop beat. PinkPantheress’ opening track “Another Life,” featuring Rema, introduces listeners to PinkPantheress’ new era of music. It explores the artist’s complex emotions and longing for a lost love. The lyrics express the narrator’s dissatisfaction within the relationship, begging them to wake up and pay more attention to the relationship and the narrator in general. The line “Guess you died today/And I can’t believe it” represents the “death” of the relationship, followed with disbelief due to the absence from each other’s life for so long. The song ends with the repetition of “You don’t get me/you don’t get me at all” which reveals the aspect of miscommunication in the relationship. The song overall conveys the bittersweet realization that the narrator must let go of the relationship for a better future.

This song is then followed with an upbeat love ballad for the narrator’s celebrity crush. “True romance” explores themes of infatuation, unrequited love and the emotions involved with celebrity crushes. The lyrics “Say what you want/this is true romance” and “I got a tattoo just to show how much I care” conveys her unwavering devotion for the subject of the song. The chorus reflects the singer’s desire for validation from this person and how she doesn’t care about their fame, they are truly invested in them as a person. Overall, “True romance” dives into infatuation and the perspective of a one-sided interest, discussing the vulnerability that comes with it. This song does a good job of showing that even with PinkPantheress’ growth as an artist over the past few years, she is still young and maturing as a person and an artist in general.

Near the end of the album, PinkPantheress dives into her feelings in “Feelings.” The song discusses topics of anxiety, uncertainty with life and the desire for more. With allusions to early 00’s R&B, PinkPantheress delivers a more empathetic vocal delivery, fully explaining her feelings and emotions which she struggled to do in her earlier works. The lyrics “No, I’ll never give it up/This is everything I wanted/This feeling’ of love,”communicate how determined she is to become the star she always wanted to be, saying her success as an artist is all she ever wanted, and she couldn’t give up that attention now.

In my personal favorite, “Capable of love,” PinkPantheress dives into more feelings of unrequited love and longing. The lyrics depict a one-sided romance where the person is completely unaware of the narrator’s feelings. In the first verse, the narrator mentions a planned day that was then canceled by the other person. The narrator begins to question her own worthiness, especially exemplified by the line “But you said it’s not deep/and to that answer I weep.” The instrumentals are ghostlike and somewhat ethereal, speeding up into a more hardcore pop beat later in the song. As the song progresses, the narrator portrays a sense of longing at the unfilled emotions she is dealing with.

Photo of PinkPantherss and Ice Spice from the “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” music video

The album ends with a super upbeat rap feature with rapper and singer Ice Spice which debuted number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year. “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” is about being in a relationship with someone who only wants you for your looks. The lyrics “What’s the point of crying/It was never even love,” show that he only saw her appearance, not who she is as a person. In Ice Spice’s verse, she echoes PinkPantheress lyrics rapping about how he is toying with her feelings. She hates his toxicity but can’t see herself without him.

PinkPantheress’ growth as an artist is truly echoed in this album, with her fully explaining her emotions and perspective in her newer songs, not cutting them short like in her older work. Although her development as an artist is clear, a lot of the songs on this album are forgetful. Some songs I can barely remember after they’re done playing, “The aisle” and “Nice to meet you” featuring Central Cee are extremely forgetful.

The songs on “Heaven knows” discuss her past relationships, how they have affected her and her longing and goals as an artist. As she develops as a person and a songwriter in the future, I hope she will dwell less into her relationships but into other aspects of her personal life. Although “Heaven knows” is pretty lacking in terms of varied topics, PinkPantheress debut album highlights her ability to blend multiple genres of music as well as her development in songwriting.

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