M!ssundaztood

Pink broke through with Can't Take Me Home, a sexy teen-pop disco cruise from a Philly gal with New Wave hair you could fry an egg on. On her second album, Missundaztood, the twenty-two-year-old abandons R&B to indulge her dream of being a hard-rock chick, and the result is practically the teen-pop In Utero. She dishes about self-loathing ("Lonely Girl"), drug abuse ("Just Like a Pill"), parental divorce ("Family Portrait") and, of course, the price of fame. "Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears," she grouses. "She's so pretty/That just ain't me." But if Pink really wants to rock, she could do better mentorwise than Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame, whose songwriting and production dominate the album (though Pink also collaborates with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora). Her "Dear Diary" isn't as catchy as Britney's, and the lively R&B beats of Can't Take Me Home are definitely missed when Pink bogs down in traditionalist rock clichés; "Misery" sounds like the Black Crowes, which couldn't have been the idea. But Pink deserves respect for expressing herself instead of going through the teen-pop motions — even if her execution isn't up to her ambitions, Missundaztood is more fun than that god-awful "Lady Marmalade" remake.

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