Album: M!ssundaztood

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Album:

M!ssundaztood

Artist: Pink
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Label: Arista

There’s a rule in commercial pop: don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Translation? If you’re getting love on TRL, it’s best leaving well enough alone and tinkering only slightly with the sound that pays your bills. So you have to give Pink a whole heap of credit. The Philly-raised songbird may have made her rep with infectious and rugged pop-R&B hits like “There You Go” and the remake of “Lady Marmalade,” but like the fuchsia coif she once sported, that sound is gone. In its place is a more driving alt-rock attack, liberally laced with some late-night blues and…

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There’s a rule in commercial pop: don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Translation? If you’re getting love on TRL, it’s best leaving well enough alone and tinkering only slightly with the sound that pays your bills. So you have to give Pink a whole heap of credit. The Philly-raised songbird may have made her rep with infectious and rugged pop-R&B hits like “There You Go” and the remake of “Lady Marmalade,” but like the fuchsia coif she once sported, that sound is gone. In its place is a more driving alt-rock attack, liberally laced with some late-night blues and heartfelt lyrics that, while they sometimes come off like diary entries (the simplistic bon mot “Your pain is painful” in “Family Portrait”), are clearly Pink’s thoughts, as opposed to words someone put in her mouth. Helping Pink express her inner Alanis are Dallas Austin, who produced the insistent rocker “18 Wheeler,” and former 4 Non Blonde Linda Perry, who Pink has resurrected from one-hit-wonder status. Mixing up thumping beats, (“Get the Party Started”), with folksy confessionals, Pink’s potent vocals and her honest determination make this a risk worth hearing. —Amy Linden

M!ssundaztood is the follow-up to Pink’s platinum selling debut. On Can’t Take Me Home Pink established herself as one of the biggest R&B/pop acts of 2000; a status she later confirmed by stealing the limelight from fellow divas-with-attitude Missy Elliott, Mya and Christina Aguilera on their No. 1 cover of “Lady Marmalade”. M!ssundaztood, however, reveals an ambition that extends far beyond the massed ranks of R&B’s feisty female fraternity. Pink wants to be a pop star, pure and simple. Consequently, as well as the tried and tested R&B groove of first single “Get The Party Started” and funky hip-hop of “Respect”, she adds a random yet brilliant selection of full-blown radio rock (“18 Wheeler”, “Numb”), sassy pop (“M!ssundaztood”) and emotionally charged laments (“Dear Diary”, “Family Portrait”, “Eventually”). Stylistically confused as it is- “Misery”, a woozy bar room blues duet with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is perhaps the most out of character—with some great tunes and a voice just as capable of fragile emotion as it is attitude, she somehow manages to pull it off. —Dan Gennoe

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