Jessica Simpson’s worst nightmare has come true — again: Pink and Eminem have rejoined forces. Two years ago, the pop underdog paid the Detroit rapper a visit on Recovery‘s “Won’t Back Down” and now he returns the favor — ever so briefly – on “Here Comes The Weekend”, from Pink’s defiant sixth album, The Truth About Love. Amazingly, Simpson dodged the bullet. P. Diddy did not.
To steal a line from Ron Burgundy, Pink (Alecia Moore) has been going to the same party for 12 years and in no way is that depressing. In 2000, her R&B kiss-off “There You Go” was to Destiny’s Child’s “Bills Bills Bills” what today’s “Blow Me” is to Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You”. The first single of Pink’s motherhood album would be called “Blow Me”. The rebellious pop-rocker has never let her freak flag fly at half-mast and she has a special knack for filtering the current trend through her own musical lens.
“Slut Like You” transgresses from Scarface snarling (“You’ll be my little friend”) to whirlwind “Woo-hoos” a la Blur’s “Song 2”, to a bitchy-rap-interlude, to a plaintive bridge. Rinse and repeat. Pink rides the rave through “Walk Of Shame”, a galvanizing tune that subverts slut-shaming with a schoolyard rhyme. She says there’ll be “no more walks of shame,” but don’t misunderstand her: there will still be plenty of walking (“so walk this way”).
Lily Allen adds her angelic voice to “True Love”, which is clearly a complicated subject for this pair to define: “I really hate you so much/ I think it must be true love.” But it’s most impressive when Pink saddles up her badassery for emotional affect on “Just Give Me A Reason”, a duet with .fun’s Nate Ruess. Truth falls in line with the Kelly-Ke$ha-Katy dance-pop fare du jour, with stadium-sized sing-a-longs with shock-talk about relationships (“the smelling of armpits”), sex (“I’m not a slut, I just love love”), and all of the above with alcohol (“sick whiskey dick”).
Twelve years ago, Pink proclaimed that “she would be bigger than Madonna,” and the world sheepishly looked the other way as they stood in line for *NSYNC tickets. Today, Pink’s consistency proves she should be taken at her word. Who would’ve predicted “MissUndaztood” would be class president of TRL’s graduating class? Maybe Madonna. She knew better than to blow Pink a kiss.
Essential Tracks: “Slut Like You”, “Just Give Me A Reason”