Maybe it’s my nostalgia for things I heard on the radio in 2008 kicking in again, but let’s listen to some more P!nk. I know, I know, how sad is it that I’m already having nostalgia pains for the late 2000’s? And, yes, I know that I said I don’t like P!nk. I guess I’m at that point where I’m starting to like the things that I don’t like just because they remind me of a time in my life when I was 11 years younger. But also, this woman sings live while swinging on a trapeze. In the 90’s/2000’s teenybop wave, P!nk was on the 3rd or 4th tier in terms of cultural traction, far behind superstars like damn Britney and X-Tina. Heck, she had less name recognition than Jessica Simpson. But I guess she really got the last laugh in terms of having a consistent career and not going to jail, or rehab, or getting fat, or being declared mentally incompetent, or becoming a porn star, or any of the other unsavory fates that have befallen her peers. No, she got her shit together and learned how to trapeze. Again, she performs on a trapeze, and even if her on-key vocals are all backing track, that’s pretty impressive.
Let’s set the WABAC Machine for the halcyon days of 2008, with one of the biggest pop hits of the decade. I think this song should bring it all flooding back nicely. It was one of the last pop hurrahs of the slutty, plastic crystal crusted, Adderal-manic 2000’s. Times sure were different back then – there was this thing called ‘optimism’ and everyone was spending buttloads of money to look like a drag strip hooker. I always thought that the singer P!nk was pretty much the worst of 2000’s pop music: she combined some of the most bombastically generic production with a mawkish earnestness untroubled by irony, all while having the aesthetics of a teenager trying to dress ‘punk’ in a suburban outlet mall. I wouldn’t say that she was the nadir of lowest-common-denominator pop music, because she is, at least, a pretty decent vocalist, but she’s pretty close to it. Even a stopped clock, however, is sometimes on point, and P!nk’s combination of trashy-white-girl posturing and insecure-white-girl vulnerability served her well at least once. She pulled the inspiration for this song from the breakup of her marriage, and although it turned out to be a false alarm and they got back together, the angst is real, and it provided fodder for one of the best defiantly crying-only-on-the-inside breakup anthems. It’s an exact, specific feeling that everyone knows: when you loudly insist, to anyone at the bar who will listen, that you’re still a rock star, while your makeup runs down your face and most of your drink is on your shoes, and you know you’re probably going to wake up with a black eye. Yep, you know you’ve had nights like that, and this is your song for nights like that.