Elvis Costello's amazing output continues, the product of a driven writer who is far from running out of things to say.
Or ways to say them. 1980's Get Happy!! featured 20 songs on one album and found Costello working mostly in a strong '60s rhythm-and-blues vein. About half a dozen other songs written and recorded in the same period were included on Taking Liberties, a compilation of yet another 20 singles and rare tracks that go back to his beginnings on Stiff Records.
Aside from being more productive than an ant ranch, Costello reigns as rock's most provocative and caustic songwriter. Trust offers 14 songs that, unlike Get Happy!!, do not stay in one vein but jump stylistically as much as Taking Liberties, incorporating the many different phases in Costello's career while still revealing his musical and lyrical growth.
Side one is strong and varied, but it's eclipsed by side two, which includes Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook singing with Costello on "From a Whisper to a Scream," and "Shot With His Own Gun," the story of a painful domestic tug-of-war whose drama has been focused by Costello singing solely to the accompaniment of Steve Nieve's piano.
Because of this, and Trust's many other shifts of mood, instrumental coloring and approaches, Costello and the Attractions remain as compelling and potent as ever. For this reason alone, Trust joins current releases by the Jam and the Clash as one of early '81's best LPs.