Originally hitting the music scene as an R&B artist in 2000, P!nk (Alecia Moore) has changed her sound as often has she has changed her hair style. Her new album, Funhouse, is a cornucopia of popular music genres, with aggressive rock tunes offset by sweet pop ballads, mingling with country and soul. P!nk has used this forum as a sort of public therapy session, and many of the songs deal with the rough edges of relationships, presumably inspired by the recent breakup of her marriage.
The hit single "So What" leads off Funhouse, and was P!nk's first solo number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. However, this album is chock full of songs that are ready for their spotlight, so don't stop there. Thematically, the songs unravel to reveal the different stages of the destruction of a relationship. Beginning with the post-relationship celebrity breakdown of "So What," P!nk tells stories of substance abuse, co-dependency, and emotional/physical abuse. Alternatively cursing her lover and also pleading with them to not leave, she explores the complexity that led to the broken ending that began the album. The final song, "Glitter in the Air," is a delicate and sober reflection on the complete trust and surrender in a loving relationship, and after the rollercoaster ride through the Funhouse, it's a reminder of why we humans continue to line up to ride.
Musically, there's a little of something for everyone. Most of the songs will be comfortable on modern rock and pop stations, but there are a few tunes that branch out in to other categories. "Crystal Ball" and "Glitter in the Air" should be given attention by adult album alternative (AAA) folks, and someone needs to get "Mean" on country stations as soon as possible.
"Bad Influence" is the source of my favorite line from the entire album: "I'm the instigator of underwear showing up here and there." It gives me a chuckle every time, thinking of the folks in my own life who fit that description. P!nk is, in many ways, fearless in her lyrics. Bristling at any perceived weakness while exposing her vulnerable side, she is "keeping it real" while also maintaining a healthy sense of humor. There's no candy coating on her songs — just raw truth.