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P!nk’s TRUSTFALL is another unstimulating record from the department store hitmaker


Release date: 17 February 2023
P!nk - TRUSTFALL - Album Artwork
17 February 2023, 00:01 Written by Sam Franzini

P!nk is, debatably, one of this generation’s unintentionally funniest singers.

Look no further than her 2010 greatest hits compilation to hear her brush off partners, singing “It’s just you and your hand tonight”; ponder philosophical inquiries like “Slam, slam, oh hot damn / What part of party don’t you understand?”; or craft genuinely entertaining songs about being a rock star and not giving a shit. All of this makes TRUSTFALL, her newest LP, such an unstimulating listen.

Since the mid-2010s, P!nk songs have been deigned to a playlist of corporate fodder that selects inoffensive, bland slices of pop (think songs you’d hear at any department store). This is, for the most part, a fair attribution: singles like “What About Us,” “Just Like Fire,” and “Try” are peppy, anthemic hits with messages of self-preservation and resilience that could be applied to anyone. To her credit though, she started her career with gritty, detailed rock hits like “Family Portrait,” “Stupid Girls,” or “So What” – all containing verses with more personality than her newest albums, which do away with her verve and wit in favour of middling, just-okay tunes.

TRUSTFALL is largely an introspective record – mostly quiet and tepid, breaking out in select moments. The title track picks up the pace with its pulsating synths, but is hindered by its anonymous lyricism (“What if we just fall? / I’m not going without you / And you’re not going alone”). The lead single, which wins the award for clunkiest title (“Never Gonna Not Dance Again”) has a video that sees her giving away her dog before her dancing shoes, against a disco beat seemingly employed because it’s trendy and not because she wants to. The closest she gets to her old heights is “Hate Me,” where she takes on the role of the villain with no real memory of when the culture made her the 'monster' she describes. Playing this role worked well for people like Taylor Swift, who was actively hated, but it’s hard to imagine anyone having any strong feelings about P!nk. “I’m not your bitch / Wanna light me up like an evil witch,” she sings anyway.

The album’s lowest moments – where it truly feels like you’re listening to nothing – are ballads that plod along with a litany of guests such as The Lumineers, First Aid Kit, and Chris Stapleton. Themes of reckoning with the past and emotional vulnerability are all run into the ground, but the emotion picks up on “Lost Cause,” where she lays plain her need to be helped. “Tell me I’m a loser / Tell me I’m a stranger you don’t wanna see again / But don’t tell me I’m a lost cause,” she sings. Another touching cut is the opener, a tribute to her late dad, where she asks him, “Is there a song you just can’t wait to share? / Yeah, I know you’ll tell me when I get there.” But these sweet moments are undercut by tracks that could have been written by anyone – the most egregious offender, “Runaway,” is a lifeless track that even an infusion of 80s synths couldn’t help.

There are no hits on TRUSTFALL. Zero songs you’d include on a list about how unique an artist P!nk is. One could guess she wants to rid herself of the party-girl persona in an attempt at maturity, but other artists late in their careers (Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Kate Bush) have grown while still evolving, their shock value and public interest stable with age. P!nk, on the other hand, has flattened over time. She mentions mid-way that she wants to “pop and lock to her records,” and it’s easy to surmise that the songs in question are all pretty far in the past.

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