Several heartbreakingly honest songs about P!nk’s failed marriage to X-Games biker Carey Hart examine love, loss and picking up the pieces (“I Don’t Believe You,” “Crystal Ball”). “Please Don’t Leave Me” confesses, “I forgot to say out loud how beautiful you really are to me.” On “Sober” P!nk concludes that being intoxicated all the time is “not the way I want my story to end.” Even so …
She’s proud to be a “Bad Influence” on people by encouraging them to drink, party and flirt. This stickered disc resorts to s- and f-words, usually in the midst of bitter or mournful rants about romance gone bad. One of the latter, “Mean,” is resigned to the pessimistic assumption that “it all goes bad eventually.” The singer decides to celebrate her liberation from marriage, and washes it all down with alcohol on “Funhouse,” “So What” and “Crystal Ball.” She opens “It’s All Your Fault” with suicidal ramblings (“I conjure up the thought of being gone, but I’d probably even do that wrong/ I try to think about which way would I be able to, and would I be afraid”). According to the artist’s website, “One Foot Wrong” describes a bad acid trip. She also suggests that spiritual help has left the world (“Ave Mary A”). Immodest liner photos show too much skin.
P!nk’s pop has always had a nasty edge. Since her divorce, poison-tipped barbs have a clearer target, and any musical therapy on Funhouse swings darkly from party-time depravity to anger and self-loathing.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.