I'm Not Dead
|I'm Not Dead|
|Studio album by Pink|
|Released||April 4, 2006|
|Singles from I'm Not Dead|
I'm Not Dead is the fourth studio album by the American recording artist and songwriter Pink. The album was released on April 4, 2006 through LaFace Records to coincide the same release date of Pink's first album, Can't Take Me Home.
The album helped renew interest in Pink's music after a three-year break which followed the poor commercial and critical performances of her previous album, Try This. Originally titled Long Way to Happy, a song on the album, and scheduled for release on September 20, 2005, the album was delayed several months. Its title was changed to I'm Not Dead, also a song on the album, in order to match the comeback nature of the album, and its heavy tone in terms of lyrical content, strong language and edgy sound. I'm Not Dead is primarily a pop rock album, but includes country, alternative rock and R&B influences.
The release of I'm Not Dead was preceded by its controversial lead single, "Stupid Girls", a top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 the video of which earned Pink an MTV Video Music Award. The single "U + Ur Hand," reached the top ten and became a significant chart success, reviving the album's sales fortunes in the U.S., leading to a platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of one million. Who Knew subsequently was re-released to critical and commercial acclaim. The two songs are also Pink's first two singles to achieve Platinum certifications. Subsequent regional singles include "Nobody Knows", "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)" and "Dear Mr. President". A Platinum Edition of the album was issued with bonus tracks, remixes and a DVD.
Pink said she titled the album I'm Not Dead because "It's about being alive and feisty and not sitting down and shutting up even though people would like you to." She said it came from "the awakening" and how "it felt good to feel again ... I turned twenty-five and I just kind of woke up and realized I have so much to learn, whereas before I thought I knew everything. That's definitely a huge part of that title." According to Pink, she did not expect to be very emotionally involved in the making of the album because the experience of making her last, Try This (2003), was "draining", but that she was "forced to be almost emotionally involved" by her collaborators, such as Billy Mann. "I guess I was just kind of at that place where I felt like I kind of had something to add to the world", she said. "I feel like there's a hole and I know how to fill it, people aren't talking trash anymore. I was just feeling really creative and really emotionally available again, and it came out great." According to her, she wrote more than forty songs for the album on "everything I could possibly think of." On December 4, 2007, an edition of the album titled I'm Not Dead: Platinum Edition was released.
Musical styles and themes
Pink was inspired to write opening track "Stupid Girls", in which she deplores the lack of good role models for young girls while encouraging them to cultivate independence, after she noticed many such girls aspire to be like female pop icons, particularly those near her Los Angeles home. "There's a certain thing the world is being fed, and my point is there should be a choice", Pink said. She stated that "Who Knew" is about "the death of friendship", as well as friends of hers who died as a result of drug overdoses. The song is about several people. The third song, "Long Way to Happy", is based on a poem about sexual abuse Pink wrote when she was thirteen years old. "I know a lot of people that have been abused and/or molested and/or fucked over by someone close to them. And I'm no exception. And that's that song", she said. The ballad "Nobody Knows" describes feelings that one can have but not show to the outside world, and Pink has named it the most vulnerable track on the album. "Dear Mr. President" is an open letter to then president of the United States, George W. Bush; the song's format is a series of rhetorical questions for the President, specifically pertaining to how he really feels about issues such as war, homosexuality, homelessness and drug abuse.
According to Pink, the sixth and title track, "I'm Not Dead", is her first "subtle" and "poetic" self-written song: "Usually it's very much more cartoon-y and blunt, the way I write songs. I don't really know diplomacy or subtlety." The song was inspired by how Pink and producer Billy Mann felt about the end of their working relationship: "We were scared to move on from each other, after seeing how much that little bit of time together changed us, and how scary change is." In "'Cuz I Can", Pink says she plays by her own rules boasts about her "bling", a contrast to the anti-consumerist content of "Stupid Girls". Referring to the song, she called herself "a walking contradiction" and "a hypocrite sometimes." This theme is echoed in "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)", which deals with contradictory feelings about a relationship; Pink said "That's how I live my life. I'm a walking conflict." She called the song "a funny take on 'I love you' ... I get really cramped ... But, every girl needs her space". "U + Ur Hand", the ninth track, is a kiss-off song addressed to a man who is trying to seduce Pink; it became a fan favorite before the release of the album, when it was leaked to the internet. Pink said of song such as "Runaway" that "It's been especially hard for [my parents] hearing me write about things they never knew about ... My mom's like, 'Were you really that angry? Was I really that in denial? Was I really that bad a parent?' 'No, Mom - you were great. You didn't try to run me over with your car. I made it up.' But by writing all of it down and sharing it with the world, I've broken with most of it." "The One That Got Away" is, as Pink puts it, "the classic 'Is this the one? Or is the grass really greener?'" Pink described track thirteen, "Conversations with My 13 Year Old Self", as a "huge therapy session" that addresses her "pissed-off, complicated" younger self. She said of writing the song, "I needed a hug, and I get it ... now. If I tried to hug my 13-year-old self, she'd try to kick my ass, and then she'd collapse and cry." "Fingers" is about her videotaping herself masturbating. She said she probably didn't need to add to the number of songs about masturbation, but she couldn't help herself. The final song on the album, the hidden track "I Have Seen the Rain," was written by and features Pink's father, James T. Moore. He wrote it when he was a soldier in the Vietnam War, but according to Pink "it's still relevant today. It's a soldier's cry." She had always wanted to record it with him and learnt to harmonize with it. She said of its recording, "He was so nervous, it was the most adorable experience for a father and daughter to share."
|Robert Christgau||A− link|
|Entertainment Weekly||B+ link|
|Los Angeles Times||link|
|The New York Times||Mixed link|
The album had a positive critical reception, receiving a 70/100 score on Metacritic. In his review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented that P!nk "sounds liberated, making music that's far riskier and stranger than anything else in mainstream pop in 2006," awarding the album 4 and a half out of 5 stars. Rolling Stone's review was also complimentary, stating that the album "swaggers with a cockiness that most dudes in bands can't match. Whether she sings rock, pop, R&B or her usual combination of all three, the twenty-six-year-old Doylestown, Pennsylvania, native is belting more urgently and taking more risks than her pop-radio contemporaries."
Pink received the 2006 Glamour Magazine award for International Solo Artist of the Year, and in 2007, she won the MTV Australia Video Music Award for Best Female Artist and the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award (in Australia) for Favourite International. The same year, the album won in the Best International Album category at the Rockbjörnen Awards.
The album sold 126,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. and debuted at number six, a higher debut position than those of Pink's last two albums, Missundaztood (2001) and Try This (2003); however, first-week sales for I'm Not Dead were lower. I'm Not Dead spent a total of 88 non-consecutive weeks on the chart, its last being in December 2009. I'm Not Dead debuted at number three in the United Kingdom selling 39,892 copies and was the ninth best-selling album of 2006 in the UK, with over 848,000 copies sold in the year. In October 2007, it re-entered the UK top 100 album chart at 99.
In Australia, after 26 weeks of release, I'm Not Dead ascended to number one to become Pink's first number-one album; it returned to number one in its 61st week on the Australian ARIA chart. The album spent a record 62 consecutive weeks in the top ten. Pink's most successful album in Australia, it was the second best selling album of both 2006 and 2007, and the number-one selling album by an American or a female artist in each year. It also became one of two Pink albums on the ARIA Chart's top 100 selling albums of the 2000 to 2009 decade, positioned at number 3 behind her 11x Platinum album Funhouse. In Canada, the album debuted at number two with 13,000 copies sold in its first week, and the CRIA certified it platinum for shipments of more than 100,000 copies. In Germany, it became Pink's first number-one album.
Singles and other promotion
Released in February – March 2006, "Stupid Girls" reached number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100—becoming Pink's biggest hit since 2002—and the top five in the UK and Australia. It was the subject of considerable discussion, with Pink attending The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss what she called the "stupid girl epidemic"; in the song, she deplores the lack of good role models for girls while encouraging them to cultivate independence. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (see Grammy Awards of 2007). Its music video, directed by Dave Meyers, received an MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video.
"Who Knew" was released as the second single in May 2006 and initially failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, but it later debuted on the chart in March 2007 after it was used in promotion for the ABC television show October Road. It was re-released in the U.S. in June 2007, and had peaked at number nine by mid September. It reached the top ten in other countries, including Australia and the UK.
The third single, "U + Ur Hand", initially took three months to chart on the Hot 100, but it went on to peak at number nine in April 2007. It reached the top 20 across most of Europe and Australia through August – September 2006.
The fourth single, "Nobody Knows", was released outside the U.S. in November and reached the top 40 in the UK and Australia.
The song "Dear Mr. President" attracted publicity, and there was belief among fans that it would be released as a single, but Pink said she would not release "Dear Mr. President" as a single because she did not want people to think it was a publicity stunt. In Belgium, an acoustic version of the song was released as a download single in late 2006, and it reached number one on the Ultratop chart. In the UK, "Dear Mr. President" was released as a download-only single with "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)". It reached the UK top 40, also charting in the top five in Australia, where it became the fifth top five hit from I'm Not Dead.
I'm Not Dead Tour
Pink began her North American I'm Not Dead Tour on June 24, 2006, in Chicago and it ended in Dallas after twenty shows. She started her European tour on September 8 of the same year in Istanbul; it ran for 52 shows and was scheduled to end in Milan on December 21. A DVD of a concert on this leg of the tour, Pink: Live from Wembley Arena, was released in April 2007. In 2007, Pink returned to the U.S. to accompany Justin Timberlake on his FutureSex/LoveShow tour. She began her sold-out Australian tour in April 2007. The Australian leg of the tour was set at a record-breaking 35 arena shows, selling around 307,000 tickets — it became the most successful arena tour in Australian history by a female artist in Australia. Sony BMG Australia released a special tour edition of I'm Not Dead on March 17, 2007—it contains the original album including two bonus tracks and a DVD that features live performances and music videos. That December, the Special Edition was released in the U.S. under the title Platinum Edition. It featured additional DVD content not featured on the Australian version.
|I'm Not Dead – Standard version|
|3.||"Long Way to Happy"||
|5.||"Dear Mr. President" (featuring Indigo Girls)||
|6.||"I'm Not Dead"||
|7.||"'Cuz I Can"||
|8.||"Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)"||
|9.||"U + Ur Hand"||
|11.||"The One That Got Away"||
|12.||"I Got Money Now"||
|13.||"Conversations with My 13 Year Old Self"||
|14.||"I Have Seen the Rain" (featuring Jim Moore) (hidden track)||Jim Moore||3:30|
|I'm Not Dead – International bonus track|
|15.||"I Have Seen the Rain" (featuring Jim Moore) (hidden track)||Moore||3:30|
|I'm Not Dead – UK bonus tracks|
|16.||"I Have Seen the Rain" (featuring Jim Moore) (hidden track)||Jim Moore||3:30|
|I'm Not Dead – Platinum edition bonus tracks|
|14.||"I Have Seen the Rain" (featuring James T. Moore)||3:33|
|18.||"U + Ur Hand" (Bimbo Jones Remix)||3:48|
- ^[a] signifies a co-producer.
Charts and certifications
- Pink: producer, vocals, backing vocals, keyboard, piano
- Adem Hawkins: song mixing
- Al Clay: song mixing
- Amy Ray: backing vocals
- Andy Timmons: guitars
- Beth Cohen: backing vocals
- Billy Mann: backing vocals, guitars, piano, orchestra arranged, drums
- Butch Walker: backing vocals, additional programming, guitars, bass guitar
- Christopher Rojas: mixing, keyboard programming, violins, drum programming, guitars, bass guitar, backing vocals
- Dan Chase: keyboard programming, drum programming
- Dan Warner: electric guitars
- Emily Saliers: backing vocals, guitars
- Fermio Hernandez: assistant mix engineer
- Geoff Zanelli: guitars, bass guitar, synthesizer
- Jeff Phillips: guitars
- Joey Waronker: drums
- John Hanes: additional Pro Tools engineer
- Justin Meldal-Johnsen: bass guitar
- Lasse Mårtén: drums
- Lee Levin: drums
- Leon Pendarvis: orchestra arranged, conducted
- Lukasz Gottwald: guitar programming, drum programming
- Max Martin: keyboard programming, guitar programming, drum programming
- Mike Elizondo: additional programming, keyboard programming, keyboard, guitars
- Niklas Olovson: drum programming, bass guitar
- Molecules: guest MC
- Mylious Johnson: drums
- Pete Wallace: keyboard programming, drum programming, guitars, piano, percussion
- Rafael Moreira: guitars
- Robin Lynch: guitars
- Roc Raida: DJ
- Serban Ghenea: song mixing
- Shawn Pelton: drums
- Steven Wolf: additional programming, tambourine
- Tim Roberts: assistant mix engineer
- Tom Lord-Alge: song mixing
- Tom Talomaa: assistant mix engineer
- Tom Coyne: mastering
- Thom Cadley: 5.1 mixing
- Mark Rinaldi: assistant 5.1 mixing
- Mark Wilder: 5.1 mastering
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