"Feel Good Time" might be a fine summer single and the flagship song from the "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" soundtrack, but for Pink, the feisty singer who fronts the quirky, catchy record, it's a between-albums reassertion that her career isn't about to fall into a predictable pattern.
In terms of timing and direction -- returning Pink to action with a left-field sound well before her next album comes out in November -- it looks like a nice piece of career strategy. Not so, according to the singer's camp.
"You hear a song, you love it and you do it and you hope it all works out, and certainly it has done with 'Feel Good Time,' " says Pink's co-manager, Craig Logan. "We're not looking for a certain style of song. She hears it and loves it, and it's that kind of artistic sensibility that kind of makes her what she is.
"It just had a really cool vibe to it. It was interesting and slightly different and not formulaic pop, and she just immediately warmed to it."
The single, which has been hanging around on Top 40 and adult-contemporary radio playlists over the past month, is the first peep from Pink since her transfiguration from offbeat teen-pop puppet to the soul-baring rock diva who emerged on 2001's "Missundaztood!" album.
That collection added credibility to commercial clout largely through its collaborations between Pink and songwriter-producer Linda Perry. "Feel Good Time," which opens with an intro from L.A. '60s rock band Spirit's "Fresh Garbage" before moving into a seductive, electro-pop arrangement, is a rarity in that Pink didn't write or co-write it. Instead, it's the doing of two other high-level pop figures, L.A. singer-songwriter Beck and English studio genius William Orbit.
In fact, Pink's pipes weren't the original focus of "Feel Good Time." The song was first written and recorded by Beck and Orbit for an album by the English musician-producer. That's the recording that Pink heard when she was considering candidates for her "Charlie's Angels" contribution.
The singer and Orbit then worked up the new version (whose official credit is "Pink featuring William Orbit"), with Pink set up in an L.A. studio connected by phone line to Orbit's London facility.
"It's really a piece of art for William, and something that he was really proud of," says Orbit's manager, Andy Kipnes. "The idea of trying to take it apart and fit all the requirements was very difficult for him to do. But he thought the music was so good that he really wanted people to hear it, so he set out to create two distinct versions -- the Beck version that's more of an alternative version and the Pink version that's more of a pop version."
There's a third songwriter listed -- Spirit's Jay Ferguson, who composed the tune's bedrock motif in 1967 as a stab at an Afro-Cuban riff.
"I love the record," he says. "Orbit and Beck, I consider them pop subversives, which I really appreciate, and they've made a summer anthem that's very hip and has some darkness and has a lot of fresh sound to it.
"To see what was basically record one in my life, the first thing I ever recorded, come back in such a contemporary fashion is great."