Let’s just say that our work-life balance has been a bit askew the past week…
Al Shipley: Her upcoming greatest hits package presents me with a good opportunity to trumpet Pink as perhaps the best female pop star of the past decade (or at least the one with the most consistent discography). But the new single off the collection, while good, doesn’t exactly help back up my claim by simply putting a more celebratory spin on the sound of her great, emotionally cathartic most recent album, Funhouse.
Jonathan Bogart: Not a ten because Greatest Hits fill-em-up tracks don’t get tens. But otherwise this does everything I want uptempo Pink to do: rock, cuss, stomp, laugh at itself, and inspire dumbass dance moves and dumberass pick-up lines. She’s still playing the bad-girl alternative to the prissy princesses of pop, and even now that there are no prissy princesses left (okay, maybe Taylor) in a world owned by Ke$ha, Gaga, and Nicki, she’s still something like a den mother to the wasted weirdos, straddling the table and bawling at you to take a swing if you think you’re hard enough.
Zach Lyon: It might be the existence of Ke$ha that makes me bow to Pink (or P!nk, if we’re really gonna make this comparison — I do prefer exclamation points), and I don’t even mind Ke$ha all that much, and I used to hate Pink. It’s just that, you put a song like this next to “Tik Tok”, and lines like “too school for cool” seem almost masterful in comparison, with Pink looking like the grizzled sensei and Ke$ha the bratty kid that tries to sweep the leg.
Alfred Soto: In line with the ignoble tradition of recording new tracks for compilations, Pink walks into the studio, spits comatose rhymes written in handwriting she can’t decipher, and exits in a huff for a Matt Lauer interview. She can’t help but sound committed though, especially when power chords offer assistance. It’s admirable, I suppose, that she remains a devotee of the “Get the Party Started” ethos — occasionally it produces an “All That Money Wants” or “True Faith.” This ain’t one.
Pete Baran: A string of half-arsed glib lines: leaning on the spectre of PARTY like Andrew WK had never happened. She is raising her glass, but she never says what’s in it. A Bucks Fizz will never get you pissed.
Martin Skidmore: I wasn’t keen on most of Jarvis Cocker’s valorisation of supposedly dismissed outsiders, but at least I knew who he was talking about. I have no idea who Pink thinks her constituency are on this song along those lines.
Alex Macpherson: After making such a big deal out of her move away from R&B and antipathy to teenpop in 2002, Pink has wound up making a song that, in 2010, could have been sung by anyone from Usher to Miley Cyrus. Of course, this is more to do with the homogenisation of the charts around a 4×4 beat pounding on a human face forever; rock, R&B and teenpop puréed into one indistinguishable overdriven electrostomp soup. Also, even Madonna at her laziest would have rejected a lyric like “Don’t be fancy, let’s get dancey.” (EDIT: Actually, she probably wouldn’t. Which puts “Raise Your Glass” on a par with the wholly forgotten “Don’t Stop” and its own unfortunate “Feel it in your body/Sing la-dee-da-dee” couplet.)
Jer Fairall: Within the first 0:40 we get “what’s the dealio”, “where’s the rock and roll” (accompanied by her vocal mock-up of a wanky guitar riff), “call me up if you want gangsta” and, sweet Jesus, “why so serious?” It would be a lot easier to buy her allegiance to all the “underdogs” and “dirty little freaks” were she ever to present her arguments in music that didn’t just happen to fall in line with whatever popular trends ruled the charts at the time.
Michaelangelo Matos: She got away with railing against pop stardom through the sheeniest radio production imaginable because the vocal had some weight. Here it bounces along with everything else, precisely as trapped in polyurethane as those stupid keyboard blats.
Josh Langhoff: Sure it’s LOUD, because all Adult Contemporary these days is LOUD, but I’m not sure what makes this “nitty gritty”. She seems to think talking like a rapper or the Joker makes her transgressive, when really it just makes her an overbearing fun-killer — like, wayyyy more overbearing than Ke$ha. But man oh man, that’s a chorus.
Edward Okulicz: One of her most propulsive, anthemic choruses to date, though its simplicity is cheapened a little by its overreliance on glib wordplay and cliches in the verses, which she has never had the ironic capabilities to sell.
Renato Pagnani: Pink has no fears about diving headfirst into clichés, which makes her fearless but also gives her ironic distance, paradoxically from the inside. And she’s simply a good songwriter, treating these kind of bombastic, shout-y choruses like Lebron does free-throws. And it’s quite clear she’s thumbing her nose at everyone. It’s flimsier than your typical Pink single, and for the all the snap the hook brings it’s not quite enough to make up for the inert space in between, but it’s the right kind of stupid and that counts for something. About six somethings.
Katherine St Asaph: It’s heartbreaking to watch Max Martin turn Pink into a Kelly/Katy clone with shorter hair. Every successive single sands off another bit of edge and then sprinkles the sawdust on top to make it look like there’s more underneath. The worst parts are the glimpses of what Pink used to be. Pink will crash your party, but then you remember how she’d get it started. She calls herself a nitty-gritty, dirty little freak, but she’s been one already with music that doesn’t sound like something Max found attached to an old email draft. She sings one eensy girl-teasing “panty snatcher” line when this used to make up entire songs. And she punctuates her lyrics with clever cursy asides, but Can’t Take Me Home was full of these, and “remember that time we went to Pizza Hut and you told me she was your cousin?” from “Hell Wit Ya” is worth twenty of the drinking platitudes here. Raise your glass if you want. I’ll be weeping into mine.
Mordechai Shinefield: “Why so serious?” Pink asks, and she’s not just a couple years behind on The Dark Knight but also on her own shtick.