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.


  1. You know how Quentin Tarantino films are made out of bits of other films, and not from real life? And how lots of songs are made from bits of other songs, and not emotions or insight or experience. Nick Lowe's songs, they're not like that.

  2. That's the second time you've posted on the new Nick Lowe. Like other ordinary mortals I look forward to buying and hearing it a day or so after September 12, when it's actually released. I know you're in the business and all, but...

  3. Maybe he 's namechecking his former dad-in-law

  4. There's a song called 'Cottage for sale which sounds like it may have a similar lyrical standpoint. Wikipedia tells me that it's been recorded by umpteen people but the only version I know is by Charles Brown from a great, highly recommended, album called 'One for the road'.[ I have the vinyl album that Demon put out in the UK years ago but Alligator released a CD version that still seems available.]

    I can't but feel that Nick Lowe's last two records have been slightly lifeless, mannered affairs. I 've just listened to 'At my age'this morning on a longish car journey and it took a bit of effort to let it run the whole length, something that could never be said of 'Party for one' or 'Impossible bird'. There's a sparkiness about those records that seems to be missing more recently. I'll buy the new one more in loyalty and hope than in expectation.

  5. I'm with B Smith but I'd suggest he's namechecking Carlene Carter AND one of his best known songs - (What's so funny 'bout) peace, love and understanding. Or have I just committed an "I'll get moi coat" moment ...