Whilst easily one of the most distinctive female pop vocalists of the last ten years, with her hot-headed persona and torching rock vocals barrelling through empowered songs both infectious and tender, P!nk did step back into line somewhat for more one-size-fits-all last album Im Not Dead. Her voice aside, there was little pull her apart from her peers or to suggest shed ever again go on to release anything as definitive as her breakthrough album M!ssundaztood. But whether driven by young pretenders like Katy Perry making a grab for her crown or by that perennial emotional motivator--break-up (she was divorced between albums)--Funhouse utterly redeems P!nk. From the front cover through most tracks on the record she stokes the wild-child inside herself that made her famous in the first place, but in most examples there is also evidence of a fostering maturity, whether in the crystal beauty and depth of ballads "Glitter In the Air" or "I Dont Believe You" or the firm-handed command of more built-up tunes like the Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Joan Jett coarseness of "Sober" or sassy rocker "Boring" that somewhat improbably combines The Dandy Warhols "Horse Pills" and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Get Ready For Love" as though delivered by the Pussycat Dolls. And maturity aside, bold first single "So What" and future-funk swing dance "Bad Influence" are about the catchiest, and indeed gutsiest, things shes delivered in years. --James Berry
Fifth album from the American singer which has been labelled her most confessional work to date. The album includes the singles 'So What' and 'Please Don't Leave Me'.
Don't underestimate Pink. She sells millions, on the back of her genuinely felt self-informed lyrics, sung in an un-cleared throaty voice. Her songs take you with her, whether that's praising the DJ, puking in the loos, or turning borderline alky.
Pink's mastered the pop punk sound in a way that the likes of Ashlee Simpson and Kelly Clarkson can only dream of, due, in part, to the people she works with - this album includes collaborations with Billy Mann, the guy she wrote Stupid Girls and I'm Not Dead with. But it's mainly because she pours herself into the songs with humour and grace.
Post-real life marriage split-up, she swings us round 45 minutes of joyous, out-of-control relationship breakdown, with the odd drunken diversion thrown in for good measure.
Aggressively swinging opener, So What, slams Pink's cards down on the table setting the defiant, self-deprecating tone of the album. "I guess I just lost my husband, I don't care where he went". It contains immortal lines, "I'm alright I'm fine and you're a tool", and the video actually has the aforementioned ex-husband in there, dancing along (which could be construed as a teensy bit too knowing): so all's fair in love and promotion.
Sober, with its heavy guitars and booming snare discusses the blackouts resulting from drinking to avoid becoming those she sneers at. She admits the party's finally over, until Bad Influence, when she gets it started again: complete with circus organ, this is her L.O.V.E.-style getting-on-down-with-the-girls anthem.
The title track is a joyous, wanton destruction of a framework that no longer fits, backed by a heavy disco beat, breaking down into some blues riff with boogie woogie piano, while roadhouse rockin' Mean discusses the train wreck of her marriage, and the energy she gains from hating her partner. Likewise, It's All Your Fault trips along with cross-rhythms and little piano riff, full of regret, emptiness and rage.
The more melancholic ballads Pink insists on recording don't seem to be particularly fun for anyone, but thankfully they are in a minority here: piano based ballad Glitter In The Air is a bit of a damp squib. I'm not sure what the significance of throwing a fistful of glitter in the air is, but this wimpy attitude doesn't really fit in the celebratory dysfunctional Funhouse. --Lucy Davies
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