Albums that contain lines like "Good manners and bad breath will get you nowhere" can't be all bad. And Trust isn't all bad; but it certainly could be better.
Elvis Costello is talented, exciting and interesting but on Trust he just isn't trying. He is still using the same old idea, lyrically and musically, without developing them.
Costello brought the two minute track to new heights with his last album Get Happy. We had all hoped that Get Happy was a watershed for Elvis. But the changes haven't occurred. If he isn't going to come up with new ideas at least he could do something different with the old ones.
Nick "Slap it down, turn it up" Lowe must shoulder a lot of the blame. Lowe has produced all of Costello's albums. As an artist Lowe is the ultimate eclectic, as a producer he has a certain rough charm. But Elvis now needs a producer willing to take more time to bring out the ideas.
Most of the tracks are mellow and companionable, but few stand out. The best is the slow, moody "Watch Your Step." "New Lace Sleeves" is good until one realizes that it's "Green Shirt" (Armed Forces) Part II. The single "Clubland' is also intriguing, but like most of the songs on Trust it doesn't get going until it's almost over.
And the title; is Elvis asking us to trust him until next time? Maybe he should have called it Laurels.