Picks and Pans Review: Pink

UPDATED 04/10/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/10/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

I'm Not Dead

POP-ROCK

After her last disc, 2003's Try This, failed to approach the multiplatinum success of 2001's stellar M!ssundaztood, Pink seemed to fade from the spotlight. The girl who once got the party started even settled down, marrying her longtime boyfriend, motocross racer Carey Hart, in January. But on her fourth release, I'm Not Dead, a reinvigorated Pink shows that she is still the chick with the most attitude. On this album's feisty first single, the reggae-flavored "Stupid Girls," she takes satiric aim at the Paris Hiltons of the world who "travel in packs of two or three/With their itsy-bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees." It's like Mean Girls gone Hollywood. Elsewhere, the singer lets the fellas have it on the sassy rocker "U + Ur Hand," while fashioning herself a "P.I.M.P." on the strutting "'Cuz I Can."

While Try This found Pink unleashing her inner headbanger, I'm Not Dead revives the pop-rock punch of M!ssundaztood—she seems determined to put Kelly Clarkson in her place with these hook-heavy tracks. Pink flaunts her versatility on the bluesy, Janis Joplinesque "The One That Got Away" and reveals her introspective side on cuts like the R&B-tinged "I Got Money Now." But it's her folkie turn on the protest song "Dear Mr. President" that is the CD's biggest surprise. With the Indigo Girls providing rich harmony, Pink takes on Dubya ("How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?/ How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?") and comes away with a powerful triumph.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: "Dear Mr. President"

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