-- Jennifer Schonborn, with additional reporting by John Norris
There was a time when Pink thought Madonna was her mother. Right before her first album came out, Pink said she didn't talk to her real, non-Madonna mom for almost a year when she was younger because she was convinced she was adopted. And while she has since accepted that she was not born of a pop star royal, she just might become one on her own, without the benefit of special blood.
She made some noise on the scene in 2000 with her debut, Can't Take Me Home, which introduced the world to a fiery, neon-haired "white girl who sings like a black girl." It was when she put on garters and a top hat for the smash remake of "Lady Marmalade," though, that people started to say her name at the dinner table. And now that she's got everyone's attention, she's ready to show them what she's got and that doesn't include a large collection of booty shorts.
What she does have, in addition to that voice, is 'tude by the truckload, mood swings, an unapologetic feminist bent and ulcers. And she's sharing all that on Missundaztood, her very anti-Can't Take Me Home follow-up.
"I think it's definitely a switch from the last album. It's definitely different. I think people are gonna be shocked," she said, brushing her now platinum bangs out of her eyes.
While the last album was straight-up R&B, and Pink's vocal style was being compared to various established R&B princesses, Missundaztood mixes R&B, bluesy rock, pop and dance beats into one strangely coherent thing. Pink insists this amalgam is what she's all about.
"I just had to be more of me instead of just some of me," she said.
"With the first record, I was just signed. I was new. I was willing to compromise," she continued with a sly smile. "I was taking direction from people, but that was also where I was at the time. I go through phases in my life. Like I sang gospel in church, and at the same time I was in punk rock bands. I've sung opera and all this other stuff." [RealVideo]
Her lyrics have also broadened. The songs are no longer only about boys on Missundaztood, Pink delves into family troubles, loneliness, how annoying she can be to herself and, of course, gettin' her party started.
"I needed that song," Pink said of the album's first single, "Get the Party Started," which is quickly climbing the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was penned by former 4 Non Blondes frontwoman Linda Perry, who also wrote or co-wrote seven other cuts on Missundaztood. "[Linda] had actually written that song a week before she met me. Yeah, so I heard it, I loved it. I loved the vibe. I loved just everything about it, from the horns to the way we sang it. It's a good song."
"Get the Party Started" forms a bridge from Pink's last album to her current LP, keeping the familiar dance feel but bidding farewell to the R&B sound that dominated Can't Take Me Home, as well as the airwaves for the past few years.