One of the things I like most is these are not formula tunes - you can't tell what the song is going to be like until you listen all the way through. The intro may sound like a ballad, but by the time you're a minute in, it may have sprouted a heavy back beat or gone into narrative, or just gotten angry. Pink is a master of the throw-away line - it's not uncommon for the same chorus to have different chatter behind it. U + Ur Hand has some hillarous shout-outs - in some of the songs it's like the heckling at a bad stage play. Clever stuff.
It didn't take long to start loving this album. Let's go through the tracks:
1. Stupid Girls
Maybe if I act like that
Flippin' my blonde hair back
Push up my bra like that
I don't wanna be a Stupid Girl
A funny dig at the gold digger music video models & their clubbing counterparts. I think Pink's jealous, because she got the brains but not the body. If you can't join 'em, beat 'em.
2. Who Knew
Bittersweet torch song, tough and touching all at once.
If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
3. Long Way To Happy
Another tough torch song, a bit angrier this time, Pink may be in the next Olympics' torch toss. The words are torch song, but the sound is angry rock.
4. Nobody Knows
A sad ballad, Pink gets to sing all the way through this one, and that rough edge in her voice really sells it. Somtimes it's good not not have Sarah Brightman's vocal cords.
5. Dear Mr. President
This ought to be played every hour on Air America. Girl Next Door sings to The Furher.
Dear Mr. President
Come take a walk with me
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me....
What do you feel when you see all the homeless in the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye and tell me why?
It's a quiet, very personal song, not the loud thing I would have expected from Pink.
6. I'm Not Dead
Another (you guessed it) torch song. This time it sounds like a mid-relationship we-almost-broke-up song.
7. 'Cuz I Can
Loud and raucous number which I am completely in love with. It's the ultikmate Po Girl Gets Rich song, and it needs to be played at full volume with God's Own Subwoofer. Those of you who know my taset in music will be saying "well, that's different!" and yeah, the words just cry out for LOUD. Heavy heavy bass that owns the track.
You talk real loud
But you ain't saying nothing cool
I can fit your whole house in my swimming pool
My life's a fantasy
That you're not smart enough to even dream
8. Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)
My favorite song on this CD. It's the B side of Don't Let Me Get Me, an album too late.
Give me a chance to miss you
It'll make me want to kiss you
It's loud, fast-paced and may take three or four listens to catch all the words and nuances. And completely schizo.
9. U + Ur Hand
Three in a row. This is another loud, fast, insulting song, what every woman wishes she could say to that jerk trying to pick her up in a bar.
Keep your dink and just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight...
I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really wanna mess with me tonight
Very sad, soft song which will make it big on the Disney Channel if they have the b alls to play it. Teenager sneaks out the window to run away from home, and doesn't think her parents will even notice.
11. The One That Got Away
Yet another torch song, this one is the ultimate groupie-in-lust song. It's done as a narrative, not sung.
12. I Got Money Now
Just what the title says. But this is a quiet song, the low-key version of 'Cuz I Can.
13. Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self
What the grown-up runaway would tell herself if she had the time machine. Very quiet, semi-narrative.
14. I Have Seen The Rain
Not listed in the TOC, and they tried to hide it by putting a lot of dead air after #13, but it has its own track number so some engineer blew it. This is a tune her father wrote about his Vietnam service, and they sing it in duet. Mediocre for its genre, but sweet to hear father-daughter singing dad's music.
Highly recommended. I'll be giving this CD as a gift to several of my non-rock-fan family and friends.Get them to play track 5 first...