In 2021, several music videos posted by the user PinkPantheress became extremely popular on TikTok. The anonymous producer’s unique combination of old-school UK garage beats and spoken vocals attracted millions of views. Eventually, it was revealed that a 20-year-old student from London was the mastermind behind these tracks. Following a deal with a major record label, PinkPantheress (who chooses to keep her identity private) achieved a Billboard Top 10 hit earlier this year with her single “Boy’s a Liar Pt 2”.
The release of her first album has been highly anticipated for 2023, and it does not disappoint in some aspects. When she incorporates early 2000s dancefloor sounds, such as the breakbeats in Another Life, Mosquito’s UK garage acoustic guitar samples, and the two-step drums in Blue, she plays it safe and pleases both millennial listeners looking for nostalgia and Gen Z listeners seeking something new. However, while these elements may be enough to capture attention on singles or social media, the use of Auto-Tune and falsetto throughout the entire album can become monotonous. In the end, Heaven Knows needed to move beyond PinkPantheress’s TikTok formula in order to truly innovate, but instead it remains stuck in the past.