Music

Pink: Greatest Hits...So Far!!!

As this greatest hits compilation acknowledges, Pink's convictions are strong even when buried under a layer or two of glitz.


Pink

Greatest Hits...So Far!!!

Label: LaFace/Jive
US Release Date: 2010-11-16
UK Release Date: 2010-11-15
Amazon
iTunes

In the world of Top 40 pop, Pink nails the difficult role of credible gimmick. A tough girl from the Philly suburbs, she dressed her edge in a close-cut pink hairstyle and pedestrian R&B on debut Can't Take Me Home. Then she got in touch with former 4 Non Blonde Linda Perry and showed her true guts and neuroses on Missundaztood. An ensuing collaboration with Rancid's Tim Armstrong on Try This didn't prove as successful, but no worries; Pink came back stronger than ever with I'm Not Dead. After taking everyone from bimbos to George W Bush to task, she released her biggest single ever—"So What"—and buried it in a middling album that was salvaged by a circus-themed world tour. Something as fanciful as the circus is the very essence of a gimmick. Yet, as her greatest hits compilation acknowledges, Pink's convictions are strong even when buried under a layer or two of glitz.

For the first 12 tracks, Greatest Hits…So Far!!! is well-formatted, skimping on Can't Take Me Home and the relative flop Try This. Brushing a debut under the carpet can put an artist at risk of downplaying the leaps they have taken in ensuing releases. Pink avoids such a fate by opening the compilation with Missundaztood's "Get the Party Started", then cutting back to her debut with "There You Go" before moving on to more serious fare such as "Don't Let Me Get Me". The accessibility of "Get the Party Started" strikes the listener as not feeling out of place on Pink's debut, but when we are reminded of that debut with "There You Go", we see how comparatively anemic the songs on Can't Take Me Home are.

Missundaztood singles "Don't Let Me Get Me", "Just Like a Pill", and "Family Portrait" remain three of Pink's strongest songs. "Don't Let Me Get Me" offers a more detailed account of self-destruction than most pop songs, and lays the framework for her ongoing advocacy of the young and outcast. "Just Like a Pill" is a sturdy rocker in spite of some slightly too on-the-nose metaphors and an utterance of "bitch" that seems little more than a shock tactic, although Pink was probably just testing the water so she could move on to harder curses in future releases. "Family Portrait" reveals an honesty that feels almost voyeuristic in such pop surroundings, and is all the more effective for it. A song such as this goes hand in hand with I'm Not Dead's "Dear Mr. President" in terms of thematic audacity, yet the latter also proves that Pink is far more successful when focusing on the personal rather than political.

Pink does get social criticism right with "Stupid Girls", an "I'm Not Dead" single which garnered a lot of attention due to its clever music video mocking Paris Hilton and her dippy ilk. Again, Pink is speaking for the young outcast girls; given her tough, straight-talking persona, Pink is more suited in this role than the likes of a "Beautiful"-era Christina Aguilera, an artist who still comes across as the popular pretty girl even when rocking S&M gear and bottomless chaps.

"So What" is both personal—it deals with Pink's separation from her husband Cary Hart—and cartoony, with a video featuring Pink at her prankish best, but somewhere it goes overboard. In the end, it comes across as a tamer version of Try This single "Trouble". The Funhouse tracks which follow "So What" deviate between snoozy ballads and slightly disco influenced rockers, with all styles being weighed down by lazy lyrics. Many of the Funhouse songs could have been omitted, so the listener could arrive to the compilations new chorus-heavy tracks more quickly. The Pink-sung version of "Whataya Want From Me", a song written for American Idol's Adam Lambert, is featured in the release's international edition and is certainly the better for it. Despite being written for someone else, the power Pink foists into the bridge renders it more heartfelt than even her most personal songs. On "Raise Your Glass", her latest single, Pink is back to encouraging the underdogs with a shouty chorus and by paying homage to Rosie the Riveter in the accompanying video. In the hands of other big pop divas, such an homage risks coming across as highly sexualized, but Pink faithfully portrays the icon as a symbol of hardiness.

Whether she's collaborating with Linda Perry or Max Martin, Greatest Hits…So Far!!! proves that Pink is a more convincing genre-hopper than many of her peers. At times, she appears to be the missing link between Kelly Clarkson and Courtney Love, but she bests the former by having the edge to sing harder "Since U Been Gone"-style pop songs and the post-Celebrity Skin output of the latter by having a less weathered voice. Although she seemed overload some of her conviction with spectacle for Funhouse, Greatest Hits…So Far!!! reminds us that, whether she's pulling cartoon faces or not, what Pink has to say bears listening.

7

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

9
Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.