Thursday, October 30, 2008

ALBUM REVIEW: Pink's Break-Up Album Ironically Dubbed "Funhouse"

Pink's first single, "So What," off her new album Funhouse was a nice primer, but to be honest the lyrics are kind of juvenile and hardly indicative of the solid content that runs through this comeback record. It's true that she's only been off the radar for the last two years, but her singles have the uncanny ability to become billboard staples for months, so technically she hasn't really been gone that long.

However, during her absence she's been going through a personal matter that Madonna and Alex Rodriguez can relate to--one that she playfully put on display in her video for her first single. Divorce is a bitch, especially when a flake breaks your heart. While fans never expected this wild child to marry, tying the knot with Cary Hart, an extreme sports athlete with a penchant for hard-partying, definitely seemed like a Pink-thing to do. Heck, she was even the one to pop the question, while he was going hundreds of miles per hour on a track. It's not that she isn't your average girl, it's just that she refuses to be classified as such. She lives life the way he rides motorcyles--working off pure impulse. Being filled with that much passion can lead to one of two paths: either the Amy Winehouse-route of rehab and public displays of idiocy or one of concentrated artistry where all emotions are funneled through an art form.

You could say that this album shows that she went through the seven stages of grief, managing to verbalize her denial ("I Don't Believe You"), her anguish ("Please Don't Leave Me" and "One Foot Wrong"), her hatred ("It's All Your Fault"), her depression ("Sober"), and even the final stage: acceptance ("So What"). But expressing these emotions aren't easy when you've been pegged as the mature version of Avril Lavigne's pop rock persona. So it was wise of her to dabble in blues-ridden country rhythms ("Crystal Ball" and "One Foot Wrong"), country rock ("How Did We Get So Mean"), and, of course the purveyor of all things angry, rock itself ("Ave Mary A"). I think what I love most about Pink is that, unlike Jessica Simpson who practically asked her fans permission to try country, Pink just did whatever the hell she wanted...and very well too.

The tracks I would recommend downloading though are impressive because of their production value. They get you amped up, hoping for a better day:
+ "Sober," which will be her second single, was partly produced by Danja, who has worked with artists from Madonna to Ciara, but managed to diversify his dance-beat rep with this heartfelt declaration of inner turmoil.
+ "Please Don't Leave Me" was produced by Swedish beats-master Max Martin who has worked with punk-dance princess Robyn, who would make an awesome tour mate for Pink.
+ "It's All Your Fault" was also produced by Martin, but it's especially fantastic for how many different times it fluctuates in rhythm, but still keeps the message strikingly clear.

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