Pink – ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’

Song: ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’
Artist: Pink
US chart peak: 2
Release date: December 14, 2010
Writers: Pink, Max Martin, Shellback
Producers: Max Martin, Shellback
Quintessential Max moment: The repetition of “pretty” and “ever” in the chorus
Video synopsis: Dysfunction: The Movie

‘Fuckin’ Perfect’ (obviously I’m not censoring the title, we’re all adults here) was the second new song to be released from Pink’s ‘Greatest Hits…So Far!!!’ album, following the similarly hey-guys-let’s-all-celebrate-our-flaws anthem, ‘Raise Your Glass’. Chatting about the song’s universal message on some sort of EPK thing that’s on YouTube, Pink said the following words using her mouth: “I was inspired by my husband to start writing that song. Then again it just morphs into [a song that] could be about me, and how I get down on myself, or it could be about my fans/friends. My mum. It could be about anybody. It’s just the voices in our head don’t tend to like us very much. We need to change that and love ourselves.” It’s important to note that the “love ourselves” bit was delivered in a mocking voice as if Pink herself knows that preaching to people about this sort of thing can come across as a bit much. “These songs that I wrote for this album specifically were definitely for the people that support me. It turns out that me and these people have been doing group therapy for ten years.”

So that’s quite sweet actually isn’t it. If you’re going to chuck out a Greatest Hits album – a thing that’s not really for your diehard fans but for the more casual, one-album-a-year fans – then at least make the new songs feel special and connected to those people who buy your tickets, download your songs and send you messages like ‘Mom’, ‘come to Brazil’ or ‘let me sit on your face and kill you then bring you back to life so we can get married’ via Twitter. As with Kelly Clarkson, Pink’s connection to her fans feels genuine and honest, something that a lot of popstars have problems trying to manufacture. This honesty, especially with her emotions, draws people who are emotionally honest and vulnerable to her, hence the circle is constantly perpetuated. ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’ also has a neat little reference back to her past via that “Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood” line, which is also quite a neat thing to do on a best of thing isn’t it.

Musically, the song is fairly standard in its default anthem status, all sweeping strings, soft acoustic guitars and the stop-start dynamics are epic with a capital E. The lift into the chorus is classic Max and that “pretty pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel” lyrical stutter is so catchy it should come with a warning. Lyrically it’s obviously doing good things and saying ‘don’t be so mean to yourself you guys, we all feel like shit’, but that’s undermined slightly in the bridge where the worst things she can come up with in terms of crushing her self-esteem are critics saying “They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair”. Someone not really getting your hair is not a reason to be sad, it’s just a reason to maybe play about with a new style, because, actually, sometimes critics are right. OR DON’T. Own that weird hair!

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