When PinkPantheress released a snippet of the unreleased track “Just a Waste” on social media in late 2020, audiences couldn’t escape the United Kingdom-based artist. The songstress captured attention with her genre blending viral singles that combined U.K. Garage, disco, lo-fi, neo-soul and R&B sounds.
“Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2,” which features fellow breakout artist Ice Spice, shot PinkPantheress into the mainstream, with more than 700 million streams to date. After the hype garnered from the duet, there was budding anticipation for her first full-length album.
PinkPantheress’ 13-track Heaven knows project dropped on Friday, and while there were some bright spots, inconsistency between lyrics and production plagued the project.
Features from Rema, Ice Spice and Kelela make up the record, which fed into excitement around the album’s release.
“Mosquito,” the album’s lead single, is PinkPantheress’ worst to date. A combination of dull verses and the reuse of a bright bedroom pop beat felt lazy, creating a forgettable track.
The fast-paced, bubbly beat of “Another Life (feat. Rema),” sounds like when lights begin to hurt your eyes in the club, but you find the strength to dance through one more song. Producer Greg Kurstin and PinkPantheress use morbid lyrics against a gothic hyperpop production in “Another Life,” constructing an addictive earworm.
One of the album’s standouts, the complexity illustrated throughout “Another Life” isn’t matched as the album continues.
While “Bury me (feat. Kelela)” also discusses how death relates to devotion, the UK drill essence of its production clashes with its storyline.
“Blue,” one of the later tracks, lacks the strong instrumentals and in-depth lyrics audiences expect from PinkPantheress. The slow, simplistic drums deterred from the longing expressed in the lyrics. Similarly, the minimal, 8-bit sound of “The aisle” hurts PinkPantheress’ storytelling.
PinkPantheress redeems herself on tracks like “True Romance.” That song touches on the infatuation and unrequited love associated with being close to someone untouchable. The lyrics “Tell me, do you view me the same? Or do you call me a stranger (Stranger) a stranger (Stranger)/ ‘Cause, baby, I don’t care about the fame” express PinkPantheress’ desire to live inside of her dreams and delusions of being with someone famous.
Cheers from a pretend crowd infuse the song’s funky synth beat with extra energy. PinkPanthress also showcases impressive vocal range through her belts and high notes — a deviation from her usual soft tone.
PinkPantheress typically creates a sanguine feeling in her music, transporting the listener to another dimension. This feeling was lost in her inconsistent debut album. Overall, Heaven knows fails to bring audiences the ethereal PinkPantheress music many know and love.