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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another tiny detail from Nick Lowe's new record

The Nick Lowe album is gentle, which is not the same as being quiet. There are plenty of quiet records at the moment which are actually quite tense to listen to. Most of "The Old Magic" is performed with a band but it's put over so gently that you pick up nuances lost in 99% of pop records.

There's a lovely bit at the end of House For Sale. This is sung from the point of view of a bloke trying to get rid of the house where love "once did reside". Like all vendors he wishes to reassure potential purchasers that while its material condition may be shabby there's nothing that can't be improved.

In fact, he sings, "with time, care, cash, peace, love and understanding it can be as good as new". The unusual word in that list is "cash", which he seems to acknowledge in the half-beat's pause before singing it. When the word "cash" turns up in pop music it tends to be used aggressively. It's rhymed with flash and trash. To hear it suffused with the same comforting glow it creates in the householder who's got some is a delight. Particularly in times like these.