Pink won’t shut up. And for that we’re indebted to her. Radio continues to play past singles from her latest album, “I’m Not Dead,” her second consecutive one to flop. The badass kiss-off “U & Ur Hand” looks like a dead end for the pop vixen’s fourth disc. Yet the corset-sporting punk fixture (who will open for Justin Timberlake on March 10 at the Joe Louis Arena) continues treating us to her throaty voice and, at the risk of alienating more fans, sticks it to pretty pop singers (and wannabes) and a flaky president. Still, we wonder what would become of several cuts (both failed releases and underdog singles) had her nose-diving commercial career been as forceful as her music.
5. “Walk Away”
Buried beneath the tune’s fizzling relationship motif, Pink’s shouting (with middle finger pointed up) to radio programmers: “I’m the shit, and you walked away from me, biatches.” And she should. The drum-dripping countrified rock ditty, bubbling with her rigid edge and an off-kilter semi-Pink sounding hook, frankly makes me tickled that the 605,428-plus fans who bought “I’m Not Dead” haven’t walked away yet.
4. “Save My Life”
Pink’s got grit. If it’s not evident in party-slamming pop hits, then the proof’s here. Over a bouncy guitar beat, Pink’s yearning vocals trace a lapsed drug addict as she spirals downward. Instead of leaving us out in the cold like previous numbing tracks on her soaring sophomore disc, the genre-hopper establishes wounded warmth.
3. “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”
The Killers would be proud. A brazen rock tune, with a kick-ass F-off theme, harmonizes Pink’s tongue-sticker-outer image as she scathingly rips on her lover for hopping in the shower with her and drinking her beer. Even Eve would be pissed if Adam were at her back continuously. Or so the rocker assumes. Guess that means Pink won’t be sharing an apple with her man either?
2. “Dear Mr. President”
It’s no surprise that radio didn’t push this Bush-bashing rageful rant. But if there’s at least one iTunes’ playlist it dominates, it’s Natalie Maines’. Flirting with folk, the acoustic ditty pairs Pink with the Indigo Girls, who harmonize on political protest lyrics surrounding the war, gay rights and Bush’s alleged toxin use. Go Pink! A rip-roaring finale, where her voice goes from bold and hushed to fierce and loud, should be heard on all fronts.
1. “Who Knew”
How the second single from Pink’s latest didn’t saturate radio and leap up the charts is beyond comprehension. The hair metal tune, brimming with her throaty howl, could be likened to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” minus the pissed-off ‘tude. Peeling back the badass image, the sassy singer, over an uber-catchy drum riff, sports a sweet sensibility. It’s unmistakably achy and, during the blistering orchestration of the chorus, just plain heartbreaking.
Justin Timberlake with Pink
7:30 p.m. March 10
Joe Louis Arena