A Tribute: Can’t Take Me Home

Happy Saturday!  It’s time to pay tribute to another one of the most important pop culture moments for Team Trash.

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This album came out my freshman year of high school and was one of my first non-gospel album purchases.  I loved that her name was P!nk and that she had pink hair.  I loved the subtle grit in her voice.  I love the obvious R&B influence.  This was the soundtrack to part of my life.  So I wanted to take the time and let you know why this album slays, snatches, and scalps.  Let’s get started.

Track 1: Split Personality

Here we open with a song with a slight preview into what Pink would give us on the second album.  The slick, schizophrenic production with its starts and stops are fantastic.  The bass line goes.  I’m a sucker for call and response in pop music, so to hear Pink’s “inner voice” talking back to her while she sings about the quirks of her personality really get me.

“Aren’t you glad you have someone to talk to?”

I think I really relate to this song because I feel like I’m different people at any given moment.  When the chips are down, I definitely run the risk of spiraling out of control.  “Can they see my many personalities?” is actually a constant fear for me, even though I cultivated these personalities through careful observation and the knowledge that code switching would be necessary as an African American in the corporate world.

Another thing, we all know that Pink has this big voice, but she’s pulled herself back and is allowing her vocal control to do the work.  The harmonies are on point.  It’s a fantastic opener to a great album.

Track 2: Hell With Ya

The first bitter ex-girlfriend song from Pink is another bop.  It’s very early aughts but I think that Pink has the attitude to pull this off.  This is the kind of song early-Destiny’s Child would have killed.

The transition of being happily over this man to seeing the way he treats his new lady friend is one that’s not often explored.  Especially in the bridge, where she starts to feel some type of way because she can’t figure out what makes this girl deserving of real romance while he treated her like shit.  Who has not been there?  And don’t even get me started on her delivery.  It’s life.

This song also has one of my singular favorite lines in music:

“So I hear, I met the wench before.  Remember that time we went to Pizza Hut and you told me she was your cousin!”

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I. FELL. OUT. 

Track 3: Most Girls

We’ve reached Pink’s second single from the album.  Another Pink staple is the “strong, independent woman” genre.  While this song is completely fantastic, it’s not my personal favorite from the album.  The bass drum hits that lead the chorus, the operatic stings in the bridge, Pink’s ad libs, and the synth loop is all perfection.

The counter-melody leading into the final chorus is another spot-on production moment.  Love this song.

Track 4: There You Go

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This was the moment that I fell in love with Alecia Moore.  I remember waking up for school on time and rushing to get ready just to see this video on MTV.  I could listen to this song all DAMN DAY.

Pink’s palpable sass is EVERYWHERE on this song.  Her vocals are LIFE ACQUIRED.  Who hasn’t had that moment where you’re like Bye Ashy! to your raggedy ex for being raggedy?  This song is the perfect embodiment of that feeling.

The “Now You’re Begging Me to Stay” into the 2nd chorus is just a sampling of Pink’s perfect ad lib placement on this record.  I honestly could go on and on about this song, but you know it!  You love it.  You performed this at karaoke last Saturday.

Track 5: You Make Me Sick

More Sassy Pink! This time, the man is driving her crazy sexually instead of with his lies and betrayal.  The operatic notes are back and the bass is grooving.

I love this song because it gives Pink’s tone a chance to serve us sex kitten which is always good fun and rare.

“The way he licked his lips and touched my hips, I KNEW THAT HE WAS SICK!”

COME ON ALECIA! ::throws something:: Sometimes we do get weak and that man-friend catches us off guard.  I love this one.  Fun fact, it was featured on the Save The Last Dance soundtrack.

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Track 6: Let Me Let You Know

The first slow jam on the album and it’s the weakest of the offerings, unfortunately.  I think that taking Pink’s sass away leaves this song a bit tepid.

The song is very pretty and definitely listenable.  Her vocals slay, especially as the song draws to a close.  But this song doesn’t feel like the same voice as the rest of the album.  She’s leaving and she’s sad, but there’s no aggression to it.  It’s too soft.

Track 7: Love Is Such A Crazy Thing

A personal favorite.  The harmonies.  THE HARMONIES!

The raw emotion in her voice.  While this song is emotional in a similar way to ‘Let Me Let You Know,’ the song feels way more genuine.  She stretches herself vocally. This is the same girl who would sing ‘There You Go’ and ‘You Make Me Sick’.  The sass is back, but these are the thoughts of a more complex woman which this album paints Pink as.

Track 8: Private Show

Another classic.  I keep going back to the phrase “sass” but I live for this Pink.  You can’t hide me!  I’m not just your little sex game.  Pink’s lower register is on display.  This song is super listenable.  I just adore it.

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Track 9: Can’t Take Me Home

Aww Pink, we were jamming.  The namesake for the album is actually my least favorite track on the album.  This song has great moments and I want to love it, but I feel like the production is too light.  It’s like Pink is singing about how “dangerous” she is, how tempting she is and how this man can’t share her with his bland, disapproving family.  It’s not a strong enough statement for a girl like Pink.  But she tries her best.

Track 10: Stop Falling

FLAWLESS.  The emotional resonance.  Pink’s vocal performance.  The softness in her voice.  The single best moment on the album.  There’s no words that I can say to justify the brilliance here.

Track 11: Do What U Do

This strong, independent woman jam is another listenable song, but after the amazing moment that was Stop Falling, it’s more on the meh side of things.  I don’t hate it and it’s fun to bop to as you drive.  But more on the filler side.

Track 12: Hiccup

Now we’re back on track.  Love the sass.  Love the delivery.  Love the production.  The hi-hat?  The beat is off the charts.  The “I’s” in the background liven it up.  Pink has some fabulously accurate runs while still using that trademark rasp.  This is what Christina Aguilera wants to do but can’t seem to master.

The breakdown?  “Pink don’t think before she speak! But you got me feeling, feeling, feeling, kind of weak!”

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Track 13: Is It Love?

We’ve reached the end of the album and end on a high note.  The hip hop influence is strong.  I seriously love the octave jump from the first verse to the second verse.  I love that it’s about losing your virginity and the fear and feelings that occur after.  It seriously captures that conversation perfectly.  And the breakdown???

“YOU NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT THE BIRDS AND BEES!”

Yes Pink Yes!  This is a great way to capture the defiant spirit of the album with the emotional vulnerability that Pink executes so well.

Overall Rating

I give this album a 4/5.  The high moments are flawless and the low moments are not bad, only off message.  Pink has gone on to incredible success and pays a bit of dust to this album (Pink has always wanted a more rock sound as opposed to the R&B influnces here).  She shouldn’t do.  She delivered a statement making first album and I live for it.

What’s your favorite track?  Any favorite Pink memories?  Let us know over at @ClassNTrashShow on Twitter or down in the comments section.

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