Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Funhouse Review

No matter how aggravating Pink is in her relationship with the tabloid press or how adolescent and ridiculous her lyrics are ("This used to be a funhouse/But now it's full of evil clowns"), she's always had an undeniably great voice and a strong grasp of melody, both of which are in evidence on most of her brand-new break-up album, Funhouse. A highly publicized and painful divorce has fueled her already aggressive emotions without leaving her bereft of humor, as on the opening track, "So What." That song combines a vintage video game tune with big, bold, Butch Walker-esque guitars in the service of self-aware self-affirmation. 

The title song isn't quite as successful, relying on a metaphor that's neither new nor all that apt, but "Please Don't Leave Me" finds a vein of real sadness that takes full advantage of the singer's raspy roar without letting her wallow in self-pity. Mostly, the record isn't too mopey, even on the ballads, of which there are both fewer than expected and more than enough. It definitely sags more in those places though. It's not that Pink can't be quiet about her sorrow, but she doesn't seem to have found the right material yet to lend the same weight to her slower songs that her faster ones swing around like a spiky mace on a chain.

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