Opening up her first full album with “Pain,” the song that arguably got her the most popularity from TikTok, is the perfect way for PinkPantheress to brand herself as a sentimental, nostalgic artist. On Oct. 15, to hell with it dropped on multiple music platforms, featuring a total of 10 songs — six of them being brand new, and four (“Pain,” “Passion,” “Just for me,” and “Break It Off”) being released previously.
“Pain” was the first PinkPantheress song to spread across TikTok, and opens up to hell with it as a perfect introduction to the type of music that PinkPantheress makes. Her songs are like diary pages; they are narrative and emotional, often recounting small, and ultimately faded sparks of romantic affection. “Pain,” in particular, is about two people who ended up not being compatible, and could not make a relationship work.
The second track on to hell with it, and the first new song PinkPantheress released on the album, “I must apologise,” is extremely catchy — especially the adlibs that underlie the chorus and cut between verses. Lyrically, it is my favorite song on the album; it’s about the singer being a perpetual liar and therefore not being able to maintain a relationship. It’s a unique concept in terms of love songs; the singer is very self-aware (“Lying’s a big problem of mine / But I still do it and I’m by myself again”) and sort of pitiful (“I’ve lost so much, I’ll lose some more”), but she doesn’t know herself yet (“They say I should be honest more, one day I’m sure / I’ll figure out the reason I was telling lies for”), which makes us feel bad for her.
“Last valentines” is about loneliness and the struggle of being rejected. It uses a car crash as a metaphor for rejection: “I crashed my car right into a tree / I’d risk my life for a chance you’d come back to me / You called 999, then left me to bleed / I know you’d never cause an accident for me.” The person rejecting let her down easily, hence why he ‘called 999,’ but, ultimately, still left her to bleed, and deal with the rejection alone. It’s not just this one person, either; this “plays out again and again,” meaning the singer has been rejected multiple times, and is finding ways to deal with this repetitive pain.
One of the few PinkPantheress songs that is not about romance, “Passion” is about losing the drive that the singer used to have: “The teachers always called it a shame / They say I don’t have passion the same / As I did a few years before / They don’t see the light there anymore.” It is also about being isolated in this lack of motivation: “I think they love me, I’m sure, but they’re not there anymore . . . They call it said, but they’re the outside looking in / I mean they can’t understand when they all cope with everything / And when I opened my heart in front of my friends, finally / It was not what I thought, ‘cause they’re not there anymore.” The singer is cast out of her family, friend group, and even her school life because of her struggles with mental health; “Passion” is definitely one of PinkPantheress’s saddest songs.
“Just for me” is currently the only PinkPantheress song with a music video, which, visually, looks like something straight out of the early 2000s. The lyrics reflect this throwback to two decades ago, as well; it is that idealized romance in which someone only has eyes for you, and makes you feel special in countless ways. The singer, though, is too shy to approach their love interest, and chooses to follow them and admire them from afar rather than make a move.
Most of PinkPantheress’s songs are about pure heartbreak or pain, but “Noticed I cried” is a nice twist away from despair. Instead, the singer calls their ex-lover a burden, and makes sure they know that their break-up did not actually hurt the singer at all: “You thought that you broke my heart / And now every time that you see me, you vanish / Because you assumed you really mattered.” I always have a difficult time choosing favorites, but I think this might be my number one on to hell with it.
Currently, “Reason” is the most played song by listeners of to hell with it on Apple Music — and for good reason. The chorus of this song is very different from others on the album; PinkPantheress’s voice is almost airy, and the music in the background sounds like sirens, but not in an obnoxious way. “Reason” is also not a love song; rather, it’s PinkPantheress going over a list of five reasons that she is still alive. It’s also the most relatable song she has, describing feelings that we don’t normally talk about because we think no one else has felt them: “I know it’s broken, but a little part of me thinks that I’m glad / I can go through things that make me sad.”
“All my friends know” is the first PinkPantheress song that features her lower singing tone. She normally sings in a much higher pitch, but she takes it down for the raw emotion in this song, and it’s beautiful. Her voice sounds absolutely incredible singing about an ex-lover that made her hate herself. She even rejected talking to her friends because of this lover, and was scared to tell her mother that the two of them broke up because said person gave her hope that they could mend their relationship.
If nostalgia and longing for the past was not already apparent in to hell with it, “Nineteen” makes sure we feel it. Again, the singer is reflecting on the past — missing old jobs, old shops, and old friendships. At the ripe age of nineteen, the singer is feeling lost and bored with life. Another song about depression, “Nineteen” puts into perspective just how young PinkPantheress is throughout this narrative album, and how much pain she has already felt in her young adult life. This is what makes her particularly relatable to her teenage-slash-college-age audience; we’ve all been through too much, and we find solace in the shared pain within the PinkPantheress community.
The final song on the album, “Break It Off,” is the last of the songs that gained popularity on TikTok. The singer is begging herself to be bold and express her emotions outwardly, having just recently cried in front of other people. She wants to explore her vulnerability but can’t bring herself to do so, instead putting on happy personas and saying “I’m fine” when people ask her how she is or if anything is wrong. It’s something most of us do, ending the album with another very relatable song.
Personally, I’ve been really into the influx of Internet personalities exploring music and releasing projects into the world. PinkPantheress is one of many young artists that began sharing music during the height of quarantine, and it’s certainly paying off, opportunity-wise. If you’re interested in checking out PinkPantheress, to hell with it is available on Apple Music and Spotify!
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