P!nk, F**kin' Perfect

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The second single from P!nk's "Greatest Hits . . . So Far!!" set is hardly a party anthem like "Raise Your Glass," but its endgame-defiant self-realization-is no different. The song begins in unassuming fashion, with an alliterative melody reminiscent of that of "Irreplaceable" and its kin. It's on the thrashing, urgent chorus where P!nk's harrowing rock vocals take over, and where a dash of profanity goes a long way toward livening up a well-worn theme: "Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel/Like you're less than/F**kin' perfect," she sings. A recently premiered music video that depicts self-mutilation has drawn even more ears to this Billboard Hot 100 climber, which, like Bruno Mars' "Grenade," has managed to cut through the four-on-the-floor clutter. A midtempo ballad in the classic P!nk tradition, "F**kin' Perfect" mixes esteem-building with bitter heartache, and it's an easy pill to swallow.