Missundaztood – P!nk – 2001
Claimed Sales: 13m
First listen?: No
Format Listened?: Apple Music
Listen to most of the songs on P!nk’s breakthrough international album, Missundaztood side by side with last year’s Beautiful Trauma and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. The fact that her second and seventh studio albums sound so similar is a testament to the sound she hones on Missundaztood for her to perfect just a few years later. Hit singles Don’t Let Me Get Me and Just Like A Pill set up this sound at its strongest here. Edgy pop songs sung by someone as if they are fronting a rock band, with a gnarliness that was all but missing from the teen pop of the era. It’s also heard on the storming Numb and standout 18 Wheeler, where P!nk dares her lover to ‘run over me with your 18 wheeler truck’. You can guess what she rhymes with that and throughout Missundaztood it’s absolutely clear that P!nk does not give a single one of those. Get This Party Started is the biggest pop hook here and the song that catapulted her career internationally, while Respect is a songs she declares as ‘my rap song’ in the opening line. The rocky, punchy songs are only one side of Missundaztood though and on tracks like My Vietnam and the still terrific Family Portrait she delves into her own family life and struggles. Both feature some of the strongest vocals on the record, P!nk has such a soulful side to her voice on tracks like this, while Family Portrait in particular features some of the most heartbreaking lyrics on the record. It’s easy to hear the impact that 4 Non Blondes singer Linda Perry had on the album as a whole, writing most of the songs alongside P!nk and it’s interesting that it has a distinctive 90s sound to it. Outliers on the record such as the smooth jazz of Stephen Tyler duet Misery or the RnB ballad Eventually feel like they go a bit too off track on an otherwise expertly focused album. The sound of her debut, fully RnB influenced album Can’t Take Me Home can still be heard in places. Outside of that though, Missundaztood is a brilliant showcase of P!nk’s talents as a songwriter, singer and performer and would lay the groundwork for her to become one of the most consistent, if predictable stars in Pop music.
Will I listen again?: Definitely.
Best Track: Just Like A Pill still goes off like nothing else here. It’s still a standout in her live shows too.