Pink - Funhouse

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Pink is hard-rocking, soul-bearing proof that all the charisma and lung capacity in the world doesn’t necessarily make you an astute artist. Yes, she’s sold millions, her ballsy you-go-girl persona is immensely likeable, and unlike her flimsier production-line pop peers, she can sing without the aid of Auto-Tune. But listening to Funhouse her latest post-Linda Perry makeover album to retread that increasingly mucilaginous pop-rock terrain, you can’t help but feel she should just be, well, better then this by now: more Esthero and less sweary-Mary Kelly Clarkson.

Pink has always put out great pop singles and true to form So What, which cock-blocked the Gallagher brothers’ chart success last week, is one helluva break-up anthem. One Foot Wrong sees her striking out in new territory, collaborating with British soulmeister Eg White to produce a more mature sound, even if it is about a bad acid trip, resplendent with florid strings and Stax-sax breaks. But Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, *Nsync) and Billy Mann (Ricky Martin, Take That) are all over this set like psoriasis, churning track after merciless track of soft-rock pop pap (Ave Mary A is a particularly criminal Linkin Park-esque cast-off), held together purely by the sheer force of Pink’s vocals. Tamara Gausi

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