Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pink - I'm Not Dead (Sony BMG)

Clever girl. Pink's shrewdly pre-empted lazy critics harping on about her flop third album by christening her comeback "I'm Not Dead" and effectively beating them to it. Bollocks, there goes my intro.

On one hand, Pink doesn't have much to live up to. On the other, it's potentially a make-or-break situation, hence the publicity explosion that's accompanied I'm Not Dead's inauguration. If recent reports of heroin and lesbian flings were part of some contrived bad girl image build-up, it was a waste of everybody's time - the All-American FM rock of Who Knew steps dangerously close to Hilary Duff territory, while Nobody Knows is almost a nonspecific fem-strum ballad. Yet both songs - and the album as a whole - illustrate a far more accomplished and musical Pink than we've previously known.

Surprisingly, the much-hyped open letter to Dubya, Dear Mr President, isn't a venomous diatribe of rage, but a dignified folk lament raising some rather pertinent questions. Clearly, Pink's grown up. Sure, Stupid Girls is an infantile wink to the contrary, but with tongue indubitably in cheek. Whatever she needed to get out of her system is now fully out, and she's content to make decent music without rawk pretensions.

I'm Not Dead is not just an album - it's a statement; it's a victory; it's Pink knocking Kelly Clarkson flat on her back, straddling her, hammering seven shades of shite out of her and topping it all off with a "THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE, BITCH!"
And who better equipped to do it?

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