Graham Reid | | <1 min read
To be honest, I consider Nick Lowe's '98 album Dig My Mood so outstanding that anything he does subsequently will pale in the comparison.
By the time of that album, the former English pub-rocker in the post-punk era and friend of Elvis Costello had taken a considerable career turn and was now a gorgeous country-soul singer whose songwriting put him so far ahead in the field that others must have despaired.
Lowe continued in that vein, hitched up with the legendary songwriting team of Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn (his natural allies) and this album -- six years on from his fine The Convincer -- exudes the same charm, wit, effortless melodicism, and dark corners in the lyrics. And confirms his place in the pantheon of great singers and songwriters.
The title is telling too: here are songs of regret for lost love; others about bitterness; some about being happy with life and a new love; others just about being . . . . well, being his age I guess.
He covers some little-known but classic material (including Charlie Feathers' The Man In Love which comes with a gentle kick), but it is his own songs like I Trained Her To Love Me which has an undercurrent of self-loathing beneath the braggadocio and the reflective ballad The Other Side of the Coin which make this an outstanding collection of country soul and softly swinging jazz-blues.