I am a huge fan of Pink and when I first got this album, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. But ultimately this was one of those records I tried so hard to love and never did. It’s her most experimental work to date, but weak songwriting, bland music, and a forced feeling knocks the album down. While there are a handful of tracks that are really good, too many of them don’t stand out or end up being filler. I thought my opinion of the record would change after hearing it again, but sadly it hasn’t.
From the opening song “Trouble” it seems like the album starts off on a good note. The rock vibe from her previous album returns and her snotty attitude is in tact, but mid way through the song, you know it’s not as good as her previous material. Something about it makes it just okay, but the vibe and the energy makes it a great start for the album. “God Is a DJ” and “Last To Know” are promising songs about having a lust for life and staying true to yourself even when someone is trying to use you. Both tracks are fun and catchy. They even have the classic sound she started developing on her previous album, but things start falling apart from here.
It’s understandable that she didn’t want the music here to sound too much like the sound of her last record, which is why she experiments with so many genres here. But rather than being cool and interesting, it comes off as a mess. “Tonight’s the Night” has cheesy, upbeat music that reminds you of a bad pop song you would play in the car only when your friends are around. Everything here sounds forced from the weird organ solo during the bridge to Pink singing “Think it’s time to have some fun, but what am I gonna wear/And where are we gonna go, and who’s gonna do my hair.” Even worse is her collaboration with Peaches on “Oh My God.” She tries way too hard to be sexy with the breathless singing and Peaches’ rap which mentions “Slick ride make my mink slide/’Cause were all pink inside” does anything but turn you on. It’s a song about sex that’s totally unappealing.
One of the best songs here is “Catch Me While I’m Sleeping.” It has this wonderful dreamy, vintage tone to it. It actually sounds like a good ballad from the late 70s/early 80s with the music. Its hard to explain, but the song is awesome. She sounds really great and sweet while she’s singing. It’s almost like a lullaby during some parts. It kind of sounds like something Blondie would do. Another great song is the punky “Humble Neighborhoods.” The cool guitar riff sings off and the way Pink chants “We don’t want to go home/we’re bad people and we do bad things” makes it sound like a new punk/new wave anthem. It also doesn’t hurt that Travis Barker plays drums here. The whole vibe is rebellious, which is what you come to expect from the singer. It actually sounds like it was inspired by Joan Jett, which makes the song even better.
“Save My Life” sounds like it was written for Sheryl Crow with the forced story lyrics and the bland music, while “Waiting For Love” is steeped in psychedelia with a yearning guitar riff. Actually, this is another really good song, which finds the singer sounding like she actually gives a damn for once. The closing track “Love Song” has the typical slow, acoustic music you come to expect from pop ballads. And while she does sound good, the song moves way too slow and gets dull before it even finishes. It’s songs like these that really affect the record, but after learning that she was pressured to record new material after the success of her second album, it makes since why so many songs come off as throwaways. She even stated that she felt like crying after every interview for the record and it shows.
Overall, the album gets 7/10. So far it’s the weakest album in her catalog. Most of the tracks are bland with weak songwriting and generic music and the handful of good songs aren’t enough to save the album. While she does keep up with the rock vibe she established on her second LP, she tries to spice things up by trying out other genres. Unfortunately, it ends up sounding like a mess. Since she was pretty much forced to make the record it’s easy to understand why it comes off so bad. Luckily, she’s at a point in her career where she makes albums when she fucking feels like it.