The U.K.’s PinkPantheress broke onto the scene last January with “Pain,” a trendy, trailer-short song about rejection that feels as epic as a full-on teen melodrama. Though it’s an aural sad-face emoji, the viral sensation, with its playful, chantlike refrains is all about keeping your cool, which is likely why it resonated with the generation that thinks posting the wrong meme is a minor catastrophe. If the Zoomer pop world is Mean Girls, PinkPanthress is at the table with all the stoners and burnouts, fashioning whole hashtag-friendly flips of the human condition from her laptop.
A year later, the social media star adds some new dimensions to her mercurial moods, teaming up with renowned producers like LSDXOXO, WondaGurl, and Sam Gellaitry. Youthful anxiety gets a facelift on To Hell With It: The Remixes, which acts as an upbeat repurposing of all the favorites from her acclaimed 2021 mixtape.
“Pain” is refurbished by Canadian producer Powfu, who adds some wistful lines (”Could’ve done it all girl, you had me/I don’t wanna be with you if you’re not happy”) that feel like a hopeful rebuttal to PinkPanthress’s retelling of a missed encounter. And Tommy Gold’s remix of “I Must Apologise” turns regret into a spirited rollick, with zealous percussion and hypnotic woodwinds. The 20-year-old’s coy “Is it something I said?” concerns are all but vanquished by the song’s electric pulse.
There’s an airy yet earthy quality to PinkPanthress’s register, with a faint trace of the proper, rounded vowels of her native Britain. She puts it to expressive use on the WondaGurl remix of “Last Valentines,” where dreamy synths — invoking impossible sunsets, like some endless summer in February — arouse her longing. No candy hearts for her this winter. So instead she opts, resourcefully, to “count the stars tonight.”
Though Flume’s revisit of “Notice I Cried”— all stagnant chords compared with the original’s explosive drum-and-bass thump — doesn’t add much, the Jarreau Vandal remix of “Reason” is a bass-heavy bop that makes the former TikTok star’s incipient musings (“And I was broken, but a little part of me thinks that I’m glad”) come off like a worry-free Wonder Years.
There’s a chill, trancelike vibe to El Guincho’s reworking of “Just for Me,” and “All My Friends Know” is revivified by producer Anz’s teeming electro throb. On the latter, PinkPanthress sounds assured as she sends some old flame to an eternal f-boy island: “Now we’re living worlds apart/Now I’ve blocked you since I’m smart.” Her damnation still sounds heavenly.
From Rolling Stone US