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Heaven knows, PinkPantheress’ debut album, sounds heavenly

By: Staff Writer Alice Zhao

PinkPantheress released her 13-track-long debut studio album Heaven knows on November 10, two years  after the release of her mixtape to hell with it, which was Number 20 in the Official Albums Chart for five weeks, and included well-known tracks such as “Pain,” “Just for Me,” and “Break It Off – Bonus.” 

PinkPantheress became popular quickly after she first posted snippets of her songs such as “Break It Off – Bonus” and “Pain” to her TikTok account in early 2021. Her distinct music style, which features a mix of hyperpop, alternative R&B, and samples from early 2000s music has garnered over 21 million Spotify listeners. Over the course of her two-year music career, PinkPantheress has become well-known for her viral songs such as “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2,” in collaboration with American rapper Ice Spice, and her feature in the Barbie movie, “Angel.”

Heaven knows opens with the song “Another life (feat. Rema),” which explores PinkPantheress’ emotions as she processes the end of a relationship. She expresses her heartbreak and desire to see her ex-lover again, “At least now we’ll get all the time apart / Guess I’ll see you in another life,” introducing what becomes a consistent theme throughout this album. All of the songs in Heaven knows revolve around PinkPantheress’ relationships in the wake of her newfound fame, including with her money, ex-lover, boyfriend, and fans. The wide range of emotions that PinkPantheress portrays throughout each song, such as adoration, heartbreak, love, and guilt, add variety and complexity to the album.

Apart from PinkPantheress’ lyrical storytelling, the collaborations make the album stand out. The features themselves create remarkably different styles of music — ranging from Central Cee’s drill rap to Rema’s Afro-rave — but manage to complement PinkPantheress’ angelic vocals and dreamy two-step beat in a way that truly brings the album together. For example, in “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2,” Ice Spice starts her verse with a straightforward tone of voice, “Like that boy is a cap, sayin’ he home but I know where he at, like,” a stark contrast to PinkPantheress’ earlier, more melancholy verse. However, Ice Spice finishes her verse off with a softer, more vulnerable melody, “But I don’t sleep enough without you / And I can’t eat enough without you (huh) / If you don’t speak, does that mean we’re through?” which serves as a smooth transition to the chorus of the song. 

Where Heaven knows truly excels is in its production quality and experimental features. In particular, “Another life (feat. Rema)” stands out as a song that encapsulates these experimental qualities. The track includes samples from church organs and the K-pop group f(x)’s “Ice Cream,” which seamlessly blend with her wistful lyrics and upbeat hip-hop melodies. Compared to her previous songs that use samples such as “Last Valentines,” (which samples Linkin Park’s “Forgotten”) the integration of samples in songs on this album sounds much smoother, a true testament to how much PinkPantheress has grown as a producer as well as an artist.

PinkPantheress goes above and beyond the high expectations that were set for Heaven knows. She delivers a polished album with improved production while keeping the same elements of dreamy vocals and hyperpop that have characterized her music in the past. The monotony of Heaven knows is broken up by the well-done features as well as the variety of topics and emotions that she is able to depict. PinkPantheress’ vocals, unique sound, and well-fitting features truly make listening to Heaven knows a heavenly experience.

Grade: A- (9.2/10)

Graphics by: AP News, Rolling Stone, Amazon & Hearst Apps

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