There are those that feel that Elvis Costello's Trust is his best album yet. It does have its good points, granted. But best? I'll stick with some of his earlier examples.
Of course, it is hard dividing his career into his Armed Forces period as apposed to his Get Happy era. If any album has taken a step from his built-in redundancy (or repetitiveness, if you will) it can be considered Trust. But not for the reasons you might think.
I think that this work does present Elvis in his extremes is it extreme of me to say that some of these numbers portend an engagement in Las Vegas? Maybe not, but you could have fooled me. The album, as a whole, is more than decent, it's good. But there are points.
For example, "New Lace Sleeves" really sounds like one of Richard Baskin's half-hearted attempts from Welcome to L.A., a film that was a bit too laid back for audiences even in California.
"Watch Your Step," while speeded up on this pvc, was played to enthusiastic appreciation by one Tom Snyder on Elvis' Tomorrow appearance. Need I say more?
"Shot with His Own Gun" sounds like Aaron Copland going New Wave, and danced by the Martha Graham troupe. Give me a break. And he does.
Lucky for Elvis C., he's included some really fine tunes. "Clubland," a back and forth eminently danceable tune, redeems side one just by opening it. Followed by such tunes as "You'll Never Be a Man," which sounds like a cross between some sixties Motown and, for some reason; "Expressway to Your Heart," and "Strict Time," which has a rather salsa-oriented beat.
Side Two does have "From a Whisper to a Scream" featuring Glenn Tilbrook's vocals (from Squeeze) and Martin Belmont on guitar (from Rumour). Isn't that enough to recommend it? By the way, it is a great cut.
Of course, something has to make up for the country music influenced "Different Finger." Anything. "Fish 'n Chip Paper," which touts "yesterday's news is tomorrow's fish 'n chip paper," does just that.
Anyway, this Costello-Lowe production is better in sound quality than Get Happy, and, with less numbers, is more satisfying. No longer do the songs start only to end a few seconds (perceived) later. My advice: tape it, after you buy it, of course. Eliminate a few songs and you do have a great album. Then again, maybe you like the pulp.
Trust, while not a perfect album, makes up for its shortcomings with some of Costello's best songs. I trust that he'll cut out the junk next time around.