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P!nk - 'Please Don't Leave Me'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:35 UK time, Monday, 20 April 2009

PinkIt seems incredible to think of it now, but before Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and having your own official website, the only way a pop act could communicate the intricate details of their day-to-day emotional life to the fans was in song form, or in interviews. This was a golden age for songs about pop life. Songs about being on the road, songs about leaving loved ones behind in airport departure lounges, and songs about meeting up with new loved ones in hotel rooms.

It was also a time when music journos would spend four or five days with an artist, developing a bond, observing the highs and lows of their working day, and getting them to spill their guts into a dictaphone. Then there would be a tussle with management over which bits could were suitable for public consumption, and bingo! A feature appears in a music magazine a fortnight later.

Nowadays, you're wiping celebrity feelings off your PC monitor with the dried-on cornflake milk, while they are still feeling them. Which has, by and large, resulted in a bigger gap between the stuff people sing about and the stuff they live through.

(Here's the video. That's where the music is.)

P!nk's the honorable exception to this. She does the usual media circus, but saves the really brutally honest and personal stuff for her songs. 'So What' was a cry of defiance after her marriage seemed to be falling apart, putting you, the listener, in the room with her while she flicked the Vs at a cruel world (and her ex).

Now here's the flipside, a song begging for forgiveness for being quite hard work, and pleading for a second chance. It's either taken directly from her life, or she's a very good character actress.

Either way, you can't critique a song like this, any flaws only enhance the idea that it's a product of massive emotional upheaval. It's not supposed to be a polished pop product, it's been carved out of her tear-stained heart, and as such, might make a bit of a mess on the carpet, but at least it's real.

And having checked her Twitter feed, I can confirm that she's not about to waste valuable inspiration on the internet when there's a new album to write. Which is exactly how things should be.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: April 27th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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