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The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

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PinkPantheress leaves her mark on modern pop with ‘Heaven Knows’

In “Heaven Knows,” PinkPantheress conveys themes of loss and yearning through sugary-sweet compositions.
Pitchfork
In “Heaven Knows,” PinkPantheress conveys themes of loss and yearning through sugary-sweet compositions.

Though she started as a TikTok sensation, British singer-songwriter PinkPantheress transcends the platform with her first full-length album, “Heaven Knows.” She initially rose to popularity with her 2021 debut mixtape “To Hell With It,” in which most of the songs are essentially snapshots of music that clock in at under two minutes long. Since then, PinkPantheress has  become well-known for bringing back Y2K nostalgia, infusing her tracks with drum and bass, ‘90s electronic sounds and catchy club rhythms. In “Heaven Knows,” her classic rapid, glitchy beats remain the same, but each song feels more complete and polished than ever.

The album’s opening track “Another Life” begins with an almost funereal organ that foreshadows the themes of death and loss that run throughout the song. Despite the heavy subject matter, PinkPantheress’ sweet vocal tone and dance-worthy tune keep the song lighthearted. 

While the previous track is more muted, “True Romance” is full of life. She yearns for a romantic connection and plays the part of a fan rather than an artist, singing “Tell me, do you view me the same? / Or do you call me a stranger / ‘Cause, baby, I don’t care about the fame.” It’s dreamy and nostalgic, punctuated by camera shutters and the cheering of an audience.

The highlight of the album arrives with “Mosquito,” which was pre-released in September.

It’s fresh and complex, filled with vulnerability.

Though she seems to be singing about the push-and-pull of a relationship, this isn’t just another love song. Instead, she cleverly reflects upon materialism, masking honesty with playfulness. “I was too young startin’ out, now I’m too scared that you might leave me,” she sings, referring to her newfound fame and financial success. Not only is “Mosquito” sonically catchy, but it also proves PinkPantheress’ ability to appeal to young adult audiences by articulating their struggles.

Because this full-length album allows PinkPantheress to showcase the full range of her artistry, it’s also jarringly obvious when her collaborators don’t match that standard. “Another Life,” for example, features Nigerian rapper Rema. His verse feels like an afterthought: it doesn’t add much value to the song, and he’s largely overshadowed. Similarly, Central Cee’s verse in “Nice to meet you” feels like a chore to listen to in the middle of the otherwise delicate, feminine track. 

The opposite problem arises on “Bury Me (feat. Kelela),” which is the shortest song on the album. Kelela’s voice elevates the track, but she’s cut off too soon for it to be truly enjoyable. Though the collaborations are an admirable effort, PinkPantheress is undeniably the star of her album, and she shines too brightly to leave room for others.

Pink Pantheress shows her creative strengths in the next track, “Ophelia.” Against the backdrop of a twinkling harp, “Ophelia” again contemplates mortality, but this time in a much less abstract way. The song sounds deceptively soft and angelic, while the lyrics paint an entirely different picture. PinkPantheress sees her “life flash again” in front of her eyes, as liquid fills her lungs. “I can’t lose my life like this, I’m still fighting / And if I die, please, let them find me,” she sings about a lover who is both metaphorically and literally killing her. The fear in her words is a sinister contrast to the serenity of the song, which adds an unexpected depth to the sweet pop song. This juxtaposition, which runs through many of the tracks on “Heaven Knows,” is the album’s biggest success.

“Capable of Love” is the album’s penultimate song, and PinkPantheress’ longest track to date. With well over three minutes at her disposal, she builds and layers the music to an intensity that she’s rarely been able to do. Rather than seeming out of place, rock guitars only add to the dreamy hyperpop of the song, which mellows out at the end like a pleasant, lingering thought.

Though PinkPantheress’ distinct style runs through every track, the album rarely feels repetitive because of the unique soundscapes she creates behind her voice. She might have risen to fame because of the internet, but it’s clear that she has no intentions of chasing virality or sticking to a formulaic sound. With this debut, she establishes herself as an artist to watch out for.

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About the Contributor
Tanvi Rao, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Tanvi joined the Wildcat Tribune to develop her writing skills and step out of her comfort zone, and she stayed for the amazing community. She has been on the Tribune for four years, and this is her second year as the Arts & Entertainment editor. Her goal for journalism is to try out new kinds of stories, especially multimedia! One fun fact about Tanvi is that she's an expert at making smoothies. If she could be anyone else on the Tribune she would be Suhani, because of her excellent style and dedication to Trader Joe's.

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