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Nick Lowe's "The Old Magic"

"Nick Lowe" ..... that name sounded quite familiar to me; I must have first read it in the pages of Creem during the magazine's twilight years, along side that of Dave Edmunds, his partner in a band called Rockpile. To tell the truth though, I haven't followed his career at all since then.

I found out about his new album, "The Old Magic," circuitously. It was a Sunday afternoon between twelve and three and, as is my wont, I was listening to The Glen Jones Radio Programme on WFMU. They played Lowe's "I Read a Lot." I liked it immediately, but I had no idea who it was. I copied down some lyrics, typed them into the search engine, figured out who and what it was, headed to the itunes store and bought the tune.

Later I moved on to other great tunes from this album: "House for Sale," for example:

House for sale
I've had enough
I'll send a van
to collect my stuff
House for sale,
I'm leaving like
I'm getting out of jail.

It's hard to find the right words to describe this album. The songs are reflective, but whimsical ... I'm almost tempted to say that they are self-indulgent, but there is a certain sly lightness that enables them to transcend being maudlin. There is nothing saccharine, sappy, schmaltzy, sentimental, sloppy, or slushy about them (to exhaust the synonyms starting with "s"), despite their 'woe is me' themes.

Lowe seems to have found the right formula for making music that reflects what time does to us: "I wanted to embrace getting older, rather than squeeze myself into tight jeans and white trainers to show that I'm still down with the kids. I wanted to find a way of doing it that wouldn't make anyone feel sick." He describes it as the "roll" in rock and roll: "the jazzy part of it, the female part, the saucy bit."

I'm impressed that he has rolled with getting older. He's 62 now and making some great music.



May 2019



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