Nick Lowe: The Impossible Bird (Yep Roc) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, January 16th, 2022  

Nick Lowe

The Impossible Bird

Yep Roc

Dec 09, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In the early ’90s, the future of Nick Lowe’s career was quite uncertain. After 1990’s Party of One, his only album for Reprise, he was without a record contract. Then, miraculously, the royalties from Curtis Stigers’ cover of his Brinsley Schwarz classic “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) “Peace, Love, and Understanding,” which was included on the multi-million selling soundtrack to The Bodyguard (featuring Whitney Houston’s ubiquitous take on Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”), enabled him to make records on his own terms and his own schedule, and he has followed that template since.

Thus came this 1994 album, widely considered his best work since the late ’70s, and more importantly for Lowe, the start of his still continuing, remarkable second act and reinvention as an adult artist equally at home with ’60s country, soul, and R&B. While traces of his rock and roll past are here and more prominent than on many of his subsequent albums (examples included the opener “Soulful Wind” and “12 Step Program (To Quit You, Babe),” the highlights are by and large the ballads. There is “The Beast in Me,” written for his one-time father-in-law Johnny Cash and recorded by Cash for his American Recordings album in 1994. “Shelley My Love” and “Where’s My Everything?” are two more highlights and serve as a preview of the kind of torch-song balladry he’d perfect on follow-ups and career highlights like 1998’s Dig My Mood and 2001’s The Convincer (among others), both also reissued by Yep Roc recently. (www.nicklowe.com)

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