Friday, 30 September 2011

Album review: NICK LOWE - The Old Magic

Highlights: House For Sale, Sensitive Man, You Don’t Know Me At All

With a name The Old Magic, with song titles like “I Read A Lot” and with a cover like that – you know you are in for a hugely old-fashioned record. Nick Lowe, now 62, the man who was originally associated with British punk and new wave (he produced early Elvis Costello as well as the debut of The Damned), releases a collection of smooth and soothing old-time numbers that sound like a soundtrack to a romantic comedy by Woody Allen.

But apparently this is what he wants to do at this point, and it’s absolutely fine by me. The Old Magic may lack the cheeky, ambitious pop genius that was Jesus Of Cool, but this is still a profoundly good record. The sounds are jazzy, country-ish, and mostly very laid-back. Lowe’s voice is clean and clear, and it suits these stripped-down, instantly memorable melodies perfectly. It’s difficult and, frankly, quite pointless to talk about the album’s highlights, it being so even, but I did single out three (see above) that seem to have a little more edge than others.

Newcomers and hipsters shouldn’t bother. The Old Magic is for loyal followers and those who just feel nostalgic. It’s not a classic – nor needs, nor tries to be. It’s a very safe-sounding album with lovely tunes and pleasant vibes. And somehow – it seems enough.   


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