November 6, 2008

Pink: Funhouse

Print More

If you judged Pink’s latest release simply on its hilariously campy album cover or equally light-hearted title, you would think that the album is all goofiness and good times. And while there are a great deal of appealing melodies and addictive hooks to be heard here, Pink’s Funhouse is through and through a divorce album, saturated by themes of broken-heartedness, lamentation and resentment towards her ex-husband Corey Hart. This overarching theme also makes for a paradoxical listen, as Funhouse is an amalgamation divided between oversized, obnoxious pop and modest, earnest sentiments.
On the lovely, sincere ballad “I Don’t Believe You,” and the mournful, bluesy slow-rocker “Mean,” Pink takes the serious road to contemplate her break-up, wondering what went wrong in her relationship with unassuming string arrangements and subdued steel guitars. The same can be said for “Crystal Ball,” a Joni Mitchell-esque folk ballad that wonderfully skirts the divorce theme with elegance and subtlety.
And although these sincere moments are certainly appreciated, Pink is at her best here when she shrugs off all the niceties and cuts loose. On the Max Martin-produced lead single “So What,” Pink — proving she’s more than ready to get out of this relationship and ready to return to her thrilling life of rock stardom and afternoon drinking — belts out an undeniably catchy chorus similar to her last big hit “U + Ur Hand.” Deliriously defiant tracks “It’s All Your Fault” and “Bad Influence” feature schoolyard taunts for choruses, which make them instantly indelible. This kind of pop is where Pink’s heart is really at — she’s ready to party for as long as the tempo is high.
Funhouse is a wild ride that runs the gamut stylistically, featuring surging anthemic choruses one minute, then intimate, acoustic blues the next, empowered throughout by her post-divorce freedom.