Billed as Alicia Moore’s most personal album to date, the guest list on her ninth features First Aid Kit and The Lumineers
After over 20 years, it’s fair to say we know what we’re getting from Alicia Moore, aka Pink, these days. She’s become the expert at radio-friendly pop anthems, albeit with a bit of swearing thrown in to keep that edge. And while Trustfall, her ninth album, isn’t exactly more of the same, there aren’t really too many risks being taken.
Trustfall is billed as Pink’s most personal album to date, coming as it does after the death of her father in April 2021, and experiencing a serious bout of covid together with her infant son. The former is addressed right at the start of the album in When I Get There, a touching piano ballad imagining her father in a bar in heaven, sitting with friends. It’s a song that will resonate with anyone going through the grieving process.
Elsewhere, the album is a mix of upbeat pop (the title track, reminiscent of Robyn, is a pulsating electro-anthem that’s up there with some of her best work), and some folky ballads. The lengthy guest list too has some reliable names – such as regular collaborators Max Martin and Shellback together with more surprising names, such as First Aid Kit and The Lumineers. Producer Fred Again, best known for his work with Ed Sheeran, ensures things are very much kept to a Pink template though.
When it works, you can see why she’s been so successful over the last couple of decades. Never Gonna Not Dance Again, despite the clunky double-negative title, is a riotously catchy disco number that you can well imagine having the same sort of longevity as Justin Timberlake‘s Can’t Stop The Feeling, with irresistible couplets like “I want my life to be a Whitney Houston song, I got all good luck and zero fucks”. Hate Me is also a good example of what she does best, a sneery pop-punk number bursting with energy, while the reflective ballad Kids In Love employs the Swedish sibling duo First Aid Kit for a lovely nostalgic glow which feels genuinely warming.
There is though also a fair amount of filler to wade through in Trustfall’s 13 tracks. Runaway is full of The Weeknd-esque shiny synths, but the song itself is pretty anonymous, while Long Way To Go, the collaboration with The Lumineers, is a plodding duet that never really gets going. Turbulence, meanwhile, compares the rough patches in a relationship to a rocky plane journey, and is as wobbly as its title.
Her voice can still hit impressive heights, as the dramatic ballad Our Song demonstrates amply, but mostly Trustfall is Pink playing it safe. Which, given the success she’s achieved with this formula in the past, isn’t the unwisest course to take. There’s a truly startling album lurking somewhere within Moore, but she’ll need to start taking a few more risks for that to be unleashed.