(Photo courtesy of Billboard) P!nk has recently announced a new tour to go along with her latest album release.
P!nk’s career as a solo artist has now spanned over 20 years, establishing herself as a generational icon and a touring force. “Trustfall” is her ninth album, her first in almost four years. While her live performances continue to be daring and one-of-a-kind, “Trustfall” finds her in safer territory, other than a handful of standouts.
Despite her long litany of classic songs, P!nk has yet to make an album that, as a full package, stands out excellently. She came closest with 2012’s “The Truth About Love,” an engaging piece of work that embodies both her bratty attitude and her future adult-contemporary direction. However, since then, she has leaned entirely on the latter and abandoned the former, which holds true in “Trustfall.”
Even if this turn toward making predominately adult-contemporary music was mostly a loss of her best musical talents, there are still flickers of light. “Trustfall” opens with “When I Get There,” a beautifully sung and emotionally heavy song dedicated to her late father. Following this is the title track, which is one of P!nk’s best songs in years, produced by visionary up-and-coming producer Fred Again. The song sounds similar to the classic “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn. Even if it may be a bit derivative, the formula works, and P!nk sounds excellent doing it.
This is far from the only derivative moment on “Trustfall,” and whether the derivativity of it succeeds or not depends on what exactly she is trying to mimic at any given moment. “Runaway” is another standout, sounding similar to The Weeknd’s massively successful hit “Blinding Lights.” However, “Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” a seeming rip on Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” falls flat. The key difference here: when she mimics good songs, her songs are good too.
While the rest of the album does not have songs that clearly and directly influence their sounds, there is still not much creativity and originality left going on here. Music certainly does not need to be original to be good; most pioneering works of art build on what comes before them. However, none of these songs build or improve upon the set formula. They are simply another installment.
The album scatters sonically throughout, creating a messy listening experience. Songs transition from dance tracks to sad ballads to mid-tempo jams at any whim, with no apparent lyrical or production thread to tie them all together. It plays much more similarly to a playlist of songs P!nk would make in 2023 than for an actual album.
“Trustfall” is not a complete waste of time. This may sound like a backhanded compliment, but for a pop star over 20 years into their career, things could be much worse. The music may be sonically familiar and not tread any new ground, but P!nk still has excellent vocal prowess and an ear for catchy, entertaining songs. It is likely only one or two of these songs will stand the test of time in her catalog, but for now, “Trustfall” will be entertaining enough.
Overall Grade: C