Album Review by Kris Griffiths
Pink is pissed off. She’s pissed off with all the comparisons to the virginal one. And with M!SSUNDAZTOOD, she’s going all out to prove that she’s, well, misunderstood. So out goes spelling correctness and in comes deviant word rebellion a lá STAIND and BIZKIT. She’s actually a bad girl who’s had a bad childhood, and the last time I saw her on telly she was displaying her badness for all to see by lobbing an empty beer bottle from a taxi window. Now that is bad.
To give her second album that extra cutting edge Pink has ensnared the talents of Linda Perry (of 4 Non-Blondes ‘fame’), who actually produced and co-wrote most of it. The influence of this blonde-bashing, bad girl becomes all too apparent all too soon. Halfway through track two, DON’T LET ME GET UP, Pink launches into a scathing attack on her simpering adversary: “tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears / she’s so pretty, that just ain’t me”.
There follows straight afterwards the risqué titular lyrics of tracks three and four which could so easily be ‘missundaztood’ as drug speak: “you’re just like a pill” and “I’m coming up so you’d better get this party started”. And in tracks five and six, RESPECT and 18 WHEELER, Pink spits out a stern warning to any boys out there who might missundaztand her: “back up boy, I ain’t your toy, or your piece of ass” followed by “you can run over me with your 18 wheeler truck and I won’t give a ___”.
Seriously though, up to its halfway point the album is quite catchy, rhythmical and entertaining albeit lyrically suspect. It also serves as an excellent platform for Pink’s powerful voice, far superior to Britney’s in sheer character. But from track seven onwards the music descends into slow and serious “feel my pain” rubbish that begs the sarcastic question: “do you reckon she had a bad upbringing?”
In FAMILY PORTRAIT she sobs about “daddy yelling and mummy crying”, whilst in DEAR DIARY she sings to her little book “I wanna tell you my secrets”. It turns out her darkest secret is that she’s “a bad, bad girl”. The drudgery continues with MISERY and LONELY GIRL, duets with Steven Tyler and Linda Perry respectively, and draws to a close with MY VIETNAM, where her earlier troubles are somehow equated with a bloody Asian war.
It’s such a shame that Pink resorts to wallowing in all this autobiographical woe when the album began and partly continued on such an upbeat note. The title track, JUST LIKE A PILL and …PARTY STARTED are all quality pop gems that end up sinking into a swamp of self-pity. It is far too early in her musical career for this sudden bout of genre-swapping. There is plenty of time. For now Pink should stick to what she does best, and if she does so with the style and talent already on display then she won’t have to worry about Britney comparisons ever again. Undaztood?