P!nk is one of the most beloved pop stars on the planet and through her straight-forward lyrics, she’s been able to connect with fans for nearly two decades. In 2008, she released her fifth studio album Funhouse albeit heartbroken. The album earned P!nk her first No. 1 on the Hot 100 songs chart and produced songs that are still fan favorites 10 years later.
Funhouse was anything but for the singer-songwriter. She separated with husband Carey Hart (who later appears in the “So What?” video) and she put her emotions into an album with 19 songs having been released in all. Through heartbreak and realizations, P!nk was at her most vulnerable during the sessions in which she originally wanted to title Heartbreak Is a Motherf****r, and though she’s released two more albums since then, Funhouse remains her deepest.
The 2008 album continued on the pop rock sound she had developed with Try This and I’m Not Dead prior to with even more heartfelt ballads. From the fist pumping lead single “So What?” and mid-tempo pleading track “Please Don’t Leave Me” to the gut wrenching “I Don’t Believe You” and soul searching “Crystal Ball,” Funhouse was P!nk both realizing she has an attitude but also a needing for her husband. In “Please Don’t Leave Me,” she admits she’s been insulting and mean but inside, she’s broken and doesn’t want it to be the end. “Crystal Ball,” a song she recorded in one take, finds her drinking wine trying to figure out what’s next accompanied by an acoustic guitar. “Pennies in a well/ A million dollars in a fountain of a hotel/ Broken mirrors and a black cat’s cold stair/ Walk under ladders on my way to hell/ I’ll meet you there,” she sings of not being scared of the cracks in that crystal ball. P!nk had experimented with blues rock on previous albums and it was no different on the track “Mean” where she’s looking back on when love was exciting and fun.
Aside the deep cuts, P!nk didn’t fail to include stomping tracks typical to her sound such as on “Bad Influence,” a track she confesses she can get wound up and be the life of the party. The title track, “Funhouse,” saw P!nk losing her mind wanting to burn down what was built.
Funhouse spawned a total of seven singles around the world and kicked off with “So What?” which became her first solo Hot 100 No. 1 in the US. It would go on to top the charts in ten additional countries as well. “Sober” followed, a song she wrote about a party she had where everyone else was drinking but she was not and felt content about it. “Please Don’t Leave Me” was released as the third single and though it had issues during release, it was certified Platinum by the RIAA. “Bad Influence” followed in Australia where P!nk is a continued favorite with “I Don’t Believe You” as the next single worldwide. Despite being one of P!nk’s most vulnerable songs, it failed to take off in the US. That, however, is typical when multiples singles are released from an album.
P!nk then stunned the world when she performed “Glitter in the Air” at the Grammy Awards using the silks she had begun using in live performances several years prior to the show. She elegantly descended from the ceiling to dip herself in water, spin herself dry, while singing the tender ballad live. Following the performance that showed her in a new light not only to the star-studded audience but to music lovers worldwide, the label had already begun sending the song to Adult radio where it peaked at No. 8. It would also peak at No. 19 on AC radio. “Glitter” still remains a fan favorite.
As most artists do, P!nk recorded a plethora of songs for Funhouse. Aside the 12 songs on the standard edition, various editions contained the songs “Could’ve Had Everything,” the pulsating “This Is How It Goes Down,” the kiss-off “Why Did I Ever Like You,” and the flirty “Boring.” Featured on the tour edition of the album, P!nk released the bonus track “Push You Away,” a track that could have been a hit in the 1990s.
Two more songs were derived from the sessions as well. “When We’re Through” was released as the b-side to “Sober” and is another acoustic song where she’s trying to pick herself back up. She even sings about smoking the last cigarette of her life and making it beyond the age of the “27 club,” a term used for so many great artists passing away at that age. “Life is just a little part of what this world will do/ It breaks you to the brink/ It beats the s**t right out of you/ And decides just when you’re in or when you’re out/ ‘Cause when you’re through, you’re through,” she wails on the song.
Made famous by Adam Lambert a year later, “Whataya Want from Me” was a song that was totally cut from the release of Funhouse. P!nk later released her original version on the Australian release of her Greatest Hits album.
Listen to Funhouse below.