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Volume 71, Issue 137, Friday, April 28, 2006

Life & Arts

Pink sends mixed signals in latest CD

Pop artist fails to bring strong message in 'I'm Not Dead'

The Daily Cougar

After a three-year absence from the music scene, Pink returns with an album with diverse themes and music styles to prove she is still a competitor in the pop music scene. Since 2003's Try This, not much has been heard from this artist, but her first single off of I'm Not Dead tries to change that.

The loud-mouthed pink-haired pop artist released "Stupid Girls" as a way to show her disapproval about the current state of pop music and the growing popularity of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson who depend on their looks and dumb behavior to be successful. "Stupid Girls" is a reminder that though Pink had disappeared momentarily, she certainly wasn't ignoring what had happened during her absence.

The album doesn't stop there. Other themes she addresses include teenage angst, by addressing the issues she may have had as a teenager, and the sorrow experienced from unhealthy relationships, much like previous albums.

While sticking with a familiar formula that has already proved successful for her, Pink does make a rather unexpected change. Her views may seem like they are a departure from the mainstream, but the music style she's adopted for I'm Not Dead is mainstream. 

Taking a cue from the current wave of emo, pop-rock musicians, like the All-American Rejects or Fall Out Boy, Pink shows she can both sing about how she needs her space from her significant other while sounding radio-friendly on "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)". Though it's a catchy song, it's too similar to what's already on the radio.

"U + Ur Hand" is about telling a guy at a bar/club atmosphere to leave her alone. She may be eye-candy, but she's not there to be bothered by someone who never had a chance with her in the first place. This is classic Pink, showcasing that her independence is important, and she's not going to let some guy ruin her good time. The "uh ohs" uttered during the song take away from the mood set by the lyrics and guitar riffs.

However, though the songs are hers, the music and her singing have become comparable to other musicians. A handful of the songs on her album sound like Kelly Clarkson could do them. The music on tracks like "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely) and "'Cuz I Can" sound like they could be done by other groups or solo artists like Gwen Stefani.

Despite the similarities to other artists, part of what made Pink distinct among her peers is her attitude. That has not changed. Her in-your-face persona is still apparent in many of the messages of her songs.

The most surprising display of her growth as an artist is her song dedicated to President Bush. One might expect a loud, angry message ala Green Day's "American Idiot." Instead, "Dear Mr. President," where she's accompanied by an acoustic guitar and backup vocals by the Indigo Girls, Pink quietly presents the grievances she has with the decisions made by Bush. Who would discuss the Iraq War, women's rights, No Child Left Behind, all while having the nerve to say, "You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine."

Another surprising track on the album features Pink's own father, James T. Moore. Moore was a Vietnam War veteran, and together, they sing about the experiences he had while a soldier. The song "I Have Seen The Rain" is unlike many of the others on the CD, which would most likely be because Pink's father wrote it after the war.

Pink is capable of having her own sound and image in the pop world, but I'm Not Dead seems to try to prove that the artist that hasn't been around in the last few years is still the same, while trying to take advantage of all the current trends in music. For the most part, the music isn't the problem here. It's the message she's sending: I'm me; I'm not dead, yet I'm not straying from what's popular at the moment. 

And what is popular is the handful of other musicians who have arrived since the last time she released an album.


I'm Not Dead
La Face Records

Verdict: Okay, we get the message kind of.

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