Pop’s edgy princess Pink returns for a ninth studio album. Trustfall is a strange, eclectic mix of styles and influences, but Pink’s voice remains impressive.
Pink, real name Alecia Beth Moore Hart, has come a long way from her humble, R&B-influenced debut album Can’t Take Me Home. She’s seemingly reinvented herself multiple times; shifted towards more of a pop-rock sound with her second album Missundaztood and while she’s always been a pop singer, her style has often transcended the genre.
Trustfall, her ninth studio album, represents the singer at her most mature, but also at times her safest. It’s a softer album, consisting of a lot of ballads and slower beats, but songs like the earworm ‘Runaway’ are there to remind us Pink is all about fun.
The album is one of catharsis and dealing with several crises, both personal and global. Pink caught COVID during the early days of the pandemic and later lost two family members from cancer in 2021. In many ways, Trustfall is all about coming to terms with loss and the prickly parts of life.
The album kicks off with ‘When I Get There’, a bold choice for an opener. The song, about her late father, finds Pink wondering if there’s a bar in heaven, where her father is waiting for her. Lyrically, it’s wonderfully honest and there’s even a playfulness that shines through the sombre tone.
The album’s title track, ‘TRUSTFALL’, is an EDM-infused, euphoric banger. It’s the kind of radio-friendly pop we know Pink as the connoisseur of and, for a moment, you’d think the album represents a deeper foray into a more electric sound.
Trustfall is largely defined by its lack of definition. The aforementioned ‘Runaway’ and the album’s lead single ‘Never Gonna Not Dance Again’, which was produced by Max Martin, are both funky, 80s-synth-pop influenced dance tracks, while ‘Just Say I’m Sorry’, featuring Chris Stapleton, is a full-blooded country song.
Lyrically, Pink continues her impeccable ability to bring forth a relatable sense of angst and hurt in her songs. Her contralto voice has always been her biggest calling card and throughout Trustfall, we get flavours of her past, more rebellious sounds. ‘Hate Me’ especially sounds like it would fit right in on Pink’s 2003 album Try This as she murmurs “So hate me, hate me / I’m the villain you made me, made me”.
While Pink carries most of the album all on her own, her choices of collaborators are as strange as they are intriguing. As well as Stapleton, Pink brings on The Lumineers for the soft and appealing ‘Long Way to G’o and Swedish duo First Aid Kit feature on ‘Kids in Love’, which plays like an acoustic memory of being young and in love.
Alcohol is a theme that keeps appearing throughout Pink’s work and Trustfall is no different. Pink often sings about shots and bars, or sometimes about the freeing lack of them like in her 2008 hit ‘Sober’. Here, in ‘Last Call’, she sings “It sure was good while it lasted / Right now we’re fuckin’ blasted”. Alcohol seems almost like a companion, a constant in an ever-changing world. There’s a fascinating honesty to it, maturity even.
Yet, above everything else, Trustfall lacks the edges that have made Pink’s greatest stuff so memorable. There’s nothing here to push Pink forward. If anything, Trustfall feels like a step back into some self-defined comfort zone. Despite a few great tunes, Trustfall leaves you wanting something more.