LaFace Records, 2008

REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith


On first listen to this new one by genre-bender Pink, I wasn’t all that impressed. So I did what any reputable music critic does: I listened to it again. That’s when the material had its biggest impact on me. I was going to dismiss the high number of ballads out of hand, but a few of them ultimately won me over the second time around. The upbeat tracks, however, are the real home runs here. Attitude is what Pink is all about, and she continues her long tradition of kicking ass and taking names on the ironically titled Funhouse.

The bluesy slow songs, and there are quite a few of them, all end up as one big overwrought blur. They bring the whole album to a screeching halt at different points and the entire affair nearly collapses entirely from their sheer weight. Having said that, “Sober” has some real kick and will follow up the amazing #1 “So What” as the next single. Pink shows her tender side on “Glitter In The Air,” which is much more affecting and effective than the embarrassingly trite duo of “I Don’t Believe You” and “One Foot Wrong.” It’s like, okay Pink, we get that you’re going through a divorce -- you don’t have to hit us over the head with it. But then, Pink has never been known for subtlety.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The rocking mid-tempo cuts “It’s All Your Fault” and “Ave Mary A” fit in nicely and can be found near the tail-end of the album. Even better still is “Please Don’t Leave Me,” which has a cool vibe and some nice echo effects. These three songs succeed in transporting the listener back to Pink’s Missundaztood days in 2001, the last time she really took the world by storm. Since then, she has struggled to maintain her footing with the harder-edged Try This and the lackluster I’m Not Dead. Now, with Pink heading in the right direction again, her new album Funhouse isn’t half bad.

My award for standout track on the album has got to be “Bad Influence,” one of the most rollicking songs Pink has ever recorded, and arguably the most fun here. With its dizzying twists and turns, it’s got that pogo-style bounce that has quickly become the hallmark of most successful pop songs these days. Consider it Pink’s newest anthem. As for the title track, I really wanted to like it more than I did. If there’s ever a song that needs a lyrical re-write, it’s that one. The rhythm section gets into some all-too familiar dance floor territory for its own good as well.

I was really excited to add this album to my collection, since it is the first one I’ve bought since the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (which also featured Pink) that actually contains a bona-fide #1 Billboard hit song. It’s been seven long years! Maybe with Pink leading the charge, pop is finally making its long-awaited comeback. Nothing would make me happier.

Rating: B-

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© 2008 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of LaFace Records, and is used for informational purposes only.