The Old Magic

With his latest, Nat "King" Cole would be a closer match. Devoting himself to songcraft with a master's ear, Lowe croons countrytinged ballads that might've been put in wax a half century ago. Sure, modern irony lurks in songs like "Checkout Time," where the aging narrator gets anxious over his chances of making it past heaven's gates. But like that song, Lowe's lyrical winks magnify his central truths. He's a cynical eye attached to a big heart.

Click here to listen to Nick Lowe's "Checkout Time"

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From The Archives Issue 1143: November 10, 2011