In 2001, this was my album. Every song here described something about my life (or so I thought). This is the album where Pink separated herself from the other female pop stars at the time. Being able to control her music, she gave fans a disc version of her diary. In other words, this is her most personal album yet. The songs are filled with stories of abuse, heartache, family divorce, and strained relationships. Though there are upbeat, fun songs found here, the album is actually pretty somber.
The songs on this album are catchy and really good for the most part. And they each to seem to have their own musical style. The upbeat and infectious “Missundaztood” opens the album on a positive note, with Pink talking about how she’s proud of herself and how she’s just happy to be her. When compared to the other songs it’s not all that memorable and it ends on a weird note with Pink grunting repeatedly. The insanely popular “Don’t Let Me Get Me” follows up. This has got to be the anthem for frustrated teen girls who think their life is shit. Even though the music is fast the song is actually pretty dark. In it Pink talks about her personal struggles and how she feels like she’s against herself. It’s the anthem for outcasts everywhere.
Things take on a more personal turn on the track “Family Portrait.” This is where Pink talks about the break up of her family and how it affected her. The song plays out like a soap opera and her voice sings every line with heartache and frustration. Even the music sounds tragic for this depressing song. More references to her father leaving can be found in “Dear Diary,” where she talks about her misbehavior as a teen. Another bitter, angry song is “Eventually.” Rather than talking about her family, this song addresses the effects of fame. She sounds vulnerable as she cries about not knowing who to trust and how no one actually cares about her. It’s actually quite a heartbreaking song.
Not all of the songs are somber. “Get the Party Started” and “Respect” are fun, feel good songs about partying and having a good time. This shows the fun side of Pink and how she likes to cut loose. And while the latter song is a fun “rap” song it also has a positive message: it tells girls to respect themselves and to make sure whoever they go out with respects them too. It also says that girls should stick together instead of fighting each other. Another song that has a really positive message is “18 Wheeler.”
Here she sings “You can push me out the window/I’ll just get back up/You can roll me over with your 18 wheeler truck/and I won’t give a fuck.” This song is all about not backing down and standing your ground. It’s an intense track with fierce guitar playing and a whole lot of attitude. This should be every woman’s anthem today. Hell, it should be anyone’s anthem. It’s a positive message and has the classic Pink snarling, bitchy attitude.
Since she has more control of her music on this album, Pink moves away from the r&b and hip-hop sound found on her debut. Here the music is influenced by rock. There are times when the music harkens back to the r&b sound and the track “Misery” even has a blues/gospel tone to it. But the music is mainly influenced by rock music. There are hard guitars and riffs found on just about every track and they give the songs an edge. With such an intense album, it only makes sense to have hard music.
Overall this album gets 8/10. It’s a great improvement from her first album and here she proves she’s not another manufactured pop princess. She’s here to stay. This album has attitude, heartache, anger and frustration. This is definitely Pink’s most personal album to date and though the songs may be somber, they are still great and will have you singing along. This is an album where you claim at least one of these songs for your own because they are relatable. I know I did.