Photo: Sølve Sundsbo / RCA Records

Pink’s ‘Trustfall’ Is Her Most Resistless Work Yet

Trustfall is the most vulnerable pop star Pink has been in years in a way that doesn’t sound formulated but rather honest and reflective.

17 February 2023

In a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, pop singer Pink revealed that, a decade ago, she was told that having children at that stage in her life would ruin her career. But she believes that having children helped soften her to the world, at least the part of her that had been “misundaztood” until then. “I think that’s when my career began, really,” she said of becoming a mother while working in pop music. “Just doing music wasn’t enough for me. I was so lonely. It’s a very lonely business.”

Sadly, in an industry and genre still obsessed with youth, her last three records have been the subject of mixed reviews, claiming her recent work lacks the punk gravitas present in her earlier albums. Where Beautiful Trauma was a stellar comeback record after a five-year hiatus, critics found fault with its songs about marriage, compromise, and growing up. Hurts to 2B Human felt rushed and calculated, a record about coming of age as a mother in times of political turbulence that unfortunately lacked originality but still felt on brand for Pink. Trustfall, her latest studio effort, is the most vulnerable she has been in years in a way that doesn’t sound formulated but honest and reflective.

The record immediately sets the stage for vulnerability with its opening track, “When I Get There”, a grief anthem dedicated to her father’s death intensely reminiscent of the singer’s I’m Not Dead or Funhouse eras. Where Trustfall’s lead single, “Never Gonna Not Dance Again”, seemed to justify its reception as more forgettable dance-pop, the album’s title track solidifies the record as one of “low-level trauma”, as Pink characterizes it. “Close your eyes and leave it all behind,” she proclaims amidst EDM production that begs to be put on repeat. It’s not necessarily that pop singers grow up and get boring as the fandom chooses to believe. It’s that singers like Pink must be fully in their element to get their point across, which she is on Trustfall.

Aside from its first two singles, Trustfall consists mainly of ballads reflecting on life, loss, and the reality of living in an age of anxiety. She reminds her listener that heavy feelings are just turbulence while also grappling with her struggles with intimacy. “Wouldn’t you think by now I’d be ready?” she asks on “Feel Something”, a poignant examination of how life doesn’t magically solve itself by growing up and starting a family. Pink gets nostalgic and emotional elsewhere on “Kids in Love” or “Our Song”, but offerings like “Hate Me” make Trustfall sound like a full-circle moment for the singer in ways that Hurts 2B Human was just a collection of songs about how life is hard.

“I’m the perfect bad guy,” she observes. “I’m the villain you made me / I’m the monster, you need me / Or it’s all on you.” It’s the most honest and reflective she’s been in years, subtly chronicling her coming of age as the antithesis of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in the early aughts to her continued presence in social activism through her lyrics and social media. Just last weekend, she clapped back at a Twitter troll trying to ignite shade between Pink and Xtina. “I’m zero percent interested in your fucking drama,” she wrote. “If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little busy selling.” She then clarified selling to not only mean tickets and albums but “bake sales and shit” as well.

Indeed, years after outgrowing her manufactured role as the “not like other girls” figure in pop music and culture, Pink has matured into a musician seldom other female pop singers reach. So what if we fall, as she suggests? Would life get easier? I want to think so.

RATING 8 / 10