All-Music Guide (Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Following the frenzied pop-soul of Get Happy!!, Elvis Costello & The
Attractions quickly returned to the studio and recorded Trust, their
most ambitious and eclectic album to date. As if he was proving his stylistic
diversity and his sophistication after the concentrated genre experiment of
Get Happy!!, Costello assembled Trust as a stylistic
tour-de-force, packing the record with a wild array of material.
Clubland has jazzy flourishes, Lovers' Walk rolls to a Bo
Diddley beat, Luxembourg is rockabilly-redux, Watch Your Step is
soul-pop, From a Whisper To A Scream rocks as hard as anything since
This Year's Model, Shot With His Own Gun is Tin Pan Alley pop,
Different Finger is the first country song he put on an official album.
And that's not even counting highlights like New Lace Sleeves and
White Knuckles, which essentially stick to Costello's signature pop but
offer more complex arrangements and musicianship than before. In fact, both
"complexity" and "sophistication" are keywords to the success of Trust --
without delving into the minutely textured arrangements that would dominate
his next pop album, Imperial Bedroom -- Costello & The Attractions
demonstrate their musical skill and savvy by essentially sticking to their
direct sound of their four-piece band. In the process, they recorded arguably
their most impressive album, one that demonstrates all sides of Costello's
songwriting and performing personality without succumbing to pretentiousness.