Pink in the Funhouse

October 14, 2009

I’m entirely too old for this – and any younger readers will be asking me what took me so long – but I am suddenly a big fan of the rock star, P!nk !

I guess it’s because her song, “Please Don’t Leave Me” has been getting so much airplay. It’s catchy, one of those stays-in-your-head kind of songs. But wow – have you ever really listened to the lyrics? It’s all about the love/hate and the intensity of both in an abusive relationship.

I went to her website PinksPage (be sure to go here – and don’t try to guess her website name, as I did – because you will be in for a very rude and inappropriate surprise) – and got to learn all things P!nk.  The more I explored there, the more I recognized some more of her songs as being familiar. And then found out that her current album, Funhouse – has been out for almost a year, and a lot of songs from this particular album will be familiar as well. “So what” – the nah-na-nah-na-nah-na “I’m a rock star” , arrogant,  in your face, tune is just one example. (Ok. So that’s one I dont’ care for).

Of course, this will be very very old news to anyone under 30, but I’m not, so it’s all new to me. But I gotta say, I like her and her music. My generation’s female rock icon was Madonna – it seems P!nk fills the same role for today.

Her musical style is very versitile – from an acoustic guitar ballad to straight on rock to a few that although rock , have a very bluesy feel to them because of the tone of her voice.

I don’t know if the Grammy cycle has already come and gone or if Funhouse is still eligible – but it definitely could take Best Album, as well as earning P!nk a Best Female Vocalist award. There’s a lot here – both musically, and lyrically.

I think what I like best about much of this album is the lyrics that she crafts. They all tell a story. Often, like “Please Don’t Leave Me” – the story is a double edged sword – love/hate, violence with an upbeat “da da da” background bubblegum vocal. I like the contrasts and the irony.

Much of the album seems to be autobiographical, at least, according to some of her public statements, like the synopsis she gives on her website. That makes it even more intriguing.  If that’s the case – or even if it is just the public persona she is crafting – she becomes the epitome of strength and vulnerability, tragic flaw plus extraordinary talent.

I’m not sure if she is solely responsible for most of her lyrics, but they are well-written and burst with irony and tension. One line from “Crystal Ball,” for example: “Sometimes you think everything  / Is wrapped inside a diamond ring.” Or this one, from “Mean” – “It’s like a train wreck, trying to hit the right track.” Clever, clever stuff.

I like rockers who are smart, aren’t afraid to speak their (real) mind – who aren’t just posing and out to make millions.  A strong woman who shows the boys that they’re not the only ones who can rock n roll. And even more surprising – an openness and recognition of flaws, and a willingness to work that into the lyrics of her songs.  All of that makes P!nk’s Funhouse pack a powerful punch!  I might be late to P!nk in general and to Funhouse in particular, but she’s definitely got a place in my music collection, now.

© writingreading, 2009