Trouble (Pink song)

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Single by Pink
from the album Try This
B-side"Delirium", "Free"
ReleasedSeptember 8, 2003 (2003-09-08)
GenrePunk rock[1]
Producer(s)Tim Armstrong
Pink singles chronology
"Feel Good Time"
"God Is a DJ"
Alternative cover
Digital and US cover
Digital and US cover
Music video
"Trouble" on YouTube

"Trouble" is a song recorded by American musician Pink for her third studio album Try This. It was written by Tim Armstrong and Pink and features a prominent guitar riff. The song was released as the album's first single in North America and second international single. It was moderately successful, its highest peak on the Canadian Singles Chart at number two. The single peaked at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart; a subsequent cover in 2005 by Shakin' Stevens was also commercially successful in the UK, peaking at number 20.

The song won Pink a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 2004. The song was featured in the films White Chicks, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and Ice Princess (as an instrumental) and television series RuPaul's Drag Race, Smallville, ER, and Psych. It is also featured in the trailers for Tangled, One for the Money and in the promo for TV show Breaking Bad.

It is also featured in the video game Donkey Konga 2.

Jeremy Renner guest stars as the sheriff in the music video.


Tim Armstrong had originally written the song for his own band Rancid's 2003 album, Indestructible however the song failed to make the final cut so when asked to work with Pink, he brought the song to her attention and it was partially re-written with her. In 2012, Armstrong would finally record the song himself under the name Tim Timebomb.

Critical reception[edit]

"Trouble" has received positive reviews from critics. Allmusic highlighted the song and noted that the similarities of "Trouble" and Nirvana's cover of the Vaselines' "Molly's Lips" may be on purpose.[2] David Browne complimented: "Fans of Pink's earlier records may not be thrilled -- in fact, the punk-lite first single, Trouble, is running into trouble of its own on the pop charts -- but one has to admire Pink's musical fearlessness, equal in its way to Justin Timberlake's."[3] The Guardian wasn't that positive at all: "Trouble blusters crossly, without ever revealing what the matter is, a state of affairs not helped by its clumsy phraseology. "If you see me coming down the street," she snarls, "you know it's time to go" - well, you said it."[4] Rolling Stone wasn't either: "Pink seems to be on autopilot through the first few tracks of Try This; she swaggers her way through insubstantial, predictable rants about going out on the town and battling emotionally challenged losers. "I'm trouble, yeah, trouble now/I'm trouble, y'all, I disturb my town," she brags in "Trouble."[5] Sal Cinquemani wrote: "The stiff-wristed herky-jerky first chords of the album's opening song (and lead single), "Trouble," pointedly announce Pink's new punk-rock sound. The repetitive hook of the raucous "Trouble," one of 10 new tracks co-written and produced by Rancid's Tim Armstrong, wears a bit thin but there's no denying its infectious b-section."[6]

Stylus magazine was favorable: "Try This opens with “Trouble”, the first of eight tracks on the album co-helmed by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong. Pink and Armstrong cram as many ideas as possible into “Trouble”, from an Any Trouble (ha!) guitar solo to a Huey Lewis and the News-esque brass-laden breakdown, Hammond organ, layered vocals… whatwhatwhat?"[7] Nick Catucci was proud, too: "Album opener and settled-upon single "Trouble" isolates Rancid's primary strains: spare, beat-propelled verse poised for a declarative, kick-guitar chorus; that warm organ; a simple, squealing solo; wistful, throaty bridge to furious finale. Vacillating subtly between soulful and snotty, Pink's voice speaks more to her conflicts as an artist than as the daughter and girlfriend who stomped through Missundaztood."[8] Yahoo! Music Canada was favorable: "Raw guitars mesh effortlessly with dance beats on middle-finger waving anthems like "Trouble" and they noted that this song is miles ahead of the "likeminded efforts on Pink's mixed-up Missundaztood, and further benefit from Armstrong's scruffy but generally unerring pop sense."[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video features a Western theme throughout, with one of the settings from inside a saloon.

The song's music video is western-themed. It was directed by Sophie Muller. The video opens with Pink galloping with speed through a forested area while checking over her shoulder indicating that she is possibly being pursued. She rides her horse until she pauses at the edge of a small town (population 96) which is called Sharktown. The town is depicted as a dull place and even a tumble weed blowing down the street is seen. Pink looks to her right and sees a flag with three black stars which pays homage to the flag of Tennessee and indicates that events depicted in the video are likely to have occurred prior to the turn of the 20th century. She then looks down and sees a crude grave marker which bears the name 'Corky'. She checks her make up briefly in a small compact and proceeds to ride deeper into the town.

There is a wide establishing shot of Pink as she moves through the main street. Local residents survey her from the shadows and treat her with mistrust and suspicion. An old woman in rags blesses herself while others, including a young girl and a dirty looking man stare at the stranger open mouthed. A quick zooming shot indicates that she is being watched by a character in a black shirt wearing eye liner, who is later revealed as the sheriff. She sees several horses tied up and immediately notices that there appears to be an element of animal cruelty in the manner in which the horses are being cared for. Upon inspecting the ankles of the horses there appears to be ligature marks and Pink, believing that more could be done in relation to the welfare of the animals begins a brawl with the men nearby. She is the victor of the short fight and disperses with her opponents in a variety of ways such as tossing them into water troughs or slamming their face off the side of the wooden buildings. The sheriff is obviously nervous of the impact that this new character is having on the town and spits in disdain.

She then enters a saloon and pushing two existing customers that are already standing at the bar aside she attempts to order a drink. The bartender looks to the sheriff (Jeremy Renner), who has been watching Pink since she arrived for confirmation before he prepares the beverage. When the sheriff indicates "no," and the bartender refuses to serve Pink she falls into a blind rage and grabs the bartender by the scruff of the neck and screams in his face before leaping over the counter and tossing him into the public area of the saloon. These actions become the catalyst for an ever bigger brawl and though attacked by many of the patrons Pink continues to fight on though furniture is being destroyed and presumably severe injuries are being experienced by many occupants. The fight simmers down very quickly though and while Pink is taking a moment to relax and sing on the bar's piano the sheriff decides to take an opportunity to subdue her and smashes a bottle on her head and she is carried, despite her struggles, to a cell in the sheriff's office.

Pink seduces the sheriff, even though she kicked him in the face while she was being incarcerated, it appears that the physical contact has got his attention and he is sexually attracted to her. He lets her out of the cell and while they are playfully engaging in light foreplay with each other the handcuffs are transferred from her wrists to restraining the sheriff to the window bars of his own office. She escapes custody and immediately heads back to the bar for another fight. As the sheriff struggles against his shackles Pink and several other women (specifically, the Pussycat Dolls) begin a style of burlesque dancing on top of the bar counter. She runs frantically from room to room and gets the attention of various ladies who it is insinuated are prostitutes and are being affectionate to the clientele. The ladies join the rebellion against the male oppression and one by one the men are defeated until a showdown situation arises where Pink and the sheriff face each other in a whip fight on the middle of the broad main street. The sheriff loses and succumbs to the women of the town who surround him immediately. She removes the town's flag and waves it above her head. A shot of two locals with the cloth symbol of oppression in their hands are seen just before Pink gallops jubilantly out of the town.

The child actress, Kelsey Lewis, who is featured in the video, also stars in Pink's video for "Family Portrait."

Cover versions[edit]

Shakin' Stevens covered this song in 2005, and is on the album Now Listen published in 2007.

Track listings[edit]

  • UK CD single
  1. "Trouble" - 3:12
  2. "Delirium" - 3:40
  3. "Free" - 6:38
  4. "Trouble" (Video) - 3:57
  • European CD single and Cassette
  1. "Trouble" (Album Version) - 3:12
  2. "Delirium" - 3:40
  • United States CD single
  1. "Trouble" (Album Version) - 3:12
  2. "Trouble" (Hyper Radio Remix) - 3:50



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External links[edit]