Lowe, the incorrigible codger, still greets the advancing decades with a wry turn of...
Tim Nelson 2007
With a title like this, Nick Lowe’s At My Age sounds as though it might be a career summation much in the vein of fellow pub-rocker turned new-waver, Chris Difford’s recent I Didn’t Get Where I Am. Although both appear to be mining the same rich country-rock seam it’s all a bit more homespun than that, and an ultimately much more cheerful musical celebration of what we all hope faces us: old age.
On the evidence of this album, Lowe, the incorrigible codger, still greets the advancing decades with a wry turn of phrase, a swing in his step and an offer to rock and roll. Nods to stars of soul and country glitter through the album like jewelled fragments in a magpie’s nest, from the covers of Charlie Feather’s ‘’The Man In Love’’, the Uniques’ ‘’Not Too Long Ago’’ and album-closer Faron Young’s ‘’Feel Again’’ to the melodic quotes and vocal stylings recalling everyone from Floyd Cramer and Nina Simone to Dean Martin and Roy Orbison.
If that makes things sound a little synthetic, it is more than compensated for by the honesty and intricacy of the lyrics (‘’Long-Limbed Girl’’ is as sinuous as the song’s subject) and the warm, relaxed playing of Lowe’s regular band, as well as guest stars including Chrissie Hynde (on ‘’People Change’’, where Lowe lets us behind his chameleon disguise) and Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody fame (on ‘’The Club’’ a wickedly funny put-down of self-pitying).
The production suggests someone has been paying attention to Solomon Burke’s comeback work, so it is fitting that Lowe brings home ''The Other Side of the Coin'' which Burke recently covered. It’s hard to pick out particular tracks, but the lacerating ‘’I Trained Her To Love Me’’ and the erie ‘’Love’s Got A Lot To Answer For’’, along with the route-out-of-the-abyss ‘’Better Man’’ and ‘’Hope For Us All’’ all serve to help stake out Lowe’s pitch here for London as the alternative country capital of the world.