Well, Elvis the C. has done it again. This makes seven (counting the authorised live bootleg and Taking Liberties) outstanding albums without ever jumping on any trendy bandwagons. In fact, Trust is his best album since 1979's Armed Forces, a new wave classic if there ever was one.
As usual, Nick Lowe's production is impeccable, the Attractions' playing is tight and professional and the El's voice is capable (though it is starting to sound a bit repetitive). Slightly unusual is the production credit "in association with Roger Bechirian" (the guy who produced the Undertones), and the special guest-appearances by Martin Belmont of the Rumour and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. Apparently Elvis wanted a little fresh blood in his entourage, and the results are quite good.
Obviously, Tilbrook's vocal contribution is easiest to spot. He and Elvis split the chores on "From a Whisper to a Scream," a tune that seems to have the best chance for commercial success. I think Belmont plays guitar on "Clubland"; anyway, it sounds a bit like Graham Parker's "Discovering Japan." Bechirian may have produced "Big Sister's Clothes," since the credits read, "Nick Lowe not to blame for this one."
This is classic rock 'n' roll that doesn't sound tired or dated or derivative. The reason is probably that, unlike most rock bands, the guitar does not dominate Costello's music; instead the keyboards of Steve Nieve (and these are exquisite) or the bass of Bruce Thomas provide most of the riffs as well as rhythm. There are two exceptions here. "Different Finger" is another country/western song that sounds like the last one, "Stranger in the House." "Shot With His Own Gun" is eery; the stark combination of Nieve's piano and Elvis's voice is teasingly effective.
For the literary minded among you, here's just one example of the great puns sprinkled throughout the songs. This is from "Shot With His Own Gun": "On your marks, men / And get set / Let's get loaded / And forget."
I hate to pun and run, but it's time to say goodbye. And by the way, buy this record by the time the stores close.