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The Old Magic


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Vinyl, September 13, 2011
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Nick Lowe's Christmas At The Airport from his new album Quality Street

Biography

Nick Lowe’s latest album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family, is a twinkling blend of traditional hymns, forgotten gems and Lowe originals. From the opening rockabilly-charged “Children Go Where I Send Thee” and the comfy hush of “Christmas Can't Be Far Away”, the record includes the beatnik bop of “Hooves on the Roof” (written ... Read more in Amazon's Nick Lowe Store

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 13, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B0058IA6K8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Of Nick Lowe, NPR once observed, ''Few musicians get better with age, Nick Lowe is an exception.'' While it's undeniable that his last album garnered Lowe the best reviews -- dubbed ''utterly fantastic,'' by The Village Voice -- of his career and his best one-week sales in the Soundscan era, there is little doubt that he has always been at the forefront of modern music. Be it his production work with The Damned, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders or his stone-classic solo albums Jesus of Cool or Labour of Lust, Nick has always set the standard for smart, switchblade-sharp pop music. His latest album The Old Magic continues Lowe's late-career evolution with arguably his best collection yet. Amidst urbanely insistent grooves (''Sensitive Man''), and spare-yet-imposing shuffles (''Checkout Time''), The Old Magic features three exceptional Lowe ballads - album opener ''Stoplight Roses,'' ''House for Sale'' and ''I Read A Lot.'' As is his custom, Lowe also peppers the album with three covers -- by Elvis Costello, Tom T. Hall and Jeff West -- that fit seamlessly with his originals. The Old Magic might be the album title equivalent of calling your shot, but for Nick Lowe it seems more a simple statement of fact.

Customer Reviews

I just heard this entire release on our great radio station (FUV!)
Moten Swing
Smart lyrics, catchy melodies, smooth arrangements and understated musical performances are the base upon which Lowe's unique lyrical style play out.
G. Lara
Lowe's deep baritone, perfect enunciation and the delicate arrangements -- loved it!
Patricia B. Ware

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Moten Swing on September 15, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Fantastic songwriting, with an understated, sincere retro sound. The arrangements are classic, in the sense of representing the best, most intelligent parts of American music over more than a half-century. These songs could have come from fifty, sixty, seventy years ago, and been called "country" or just "pop". They would be hits, easily, in any time period with an intelligent popular-music culture. (Which means Nick won't be selling many of these CDs in today's market.) The smooth arrangements, often with throw-back backing vocals, serve to focus our attention on Nick's voice and lyrics. He sounds great, and the songs are finely-wrought timeless pieces. I just heard this entire release on our great radio station (FUV!) here in NYC while driving up the Upper East Side highway, and I bet bands will be covering these songs for years and years to come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mattmanmash on September 13, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Nick Lowe since I first heard "Cruel To Be Kind". Though he has mellowed over the years his songwriting is as sharp as ever. The songs are easy to relate to and fun to listen to. Thank you Nick Lowe for putting out quality when so few musicians are.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James N. Perlman on September 15, 2011
Format: Vinyl
It would be an injustice to Nick Lowe's body of work since the mid-70's to claim this is his best album ever. There can be no best Nick Lowe album ever. With a catalog that includes his albums with Brinsley Schwarz, his two classic early solo albums, Jesus Of Cool and Labour of Lust, and now his "rebirth", since the brilliant The Impossible Bird in 1994, there is more than enough territory to discuss which is Nick's greatest album. That said, The Old Magic, can now be placed in that discussion.

Looking back at this career, it is now fairly clear that, for many years, hiding outside of plain sight, has been one of our era's greatest and cleverest lyricist. This talent is in full view on The Old Magic. What is different is Nick has loosened-up on the anger and loathing, some self-directed (and there's nothing wrong with anger and loathing in the hands of a writer of Nick Lowe's stature) and, in their place, is some acceptance, some wisdom, some melancholy, some tenderness, a few well-selected covers and a whole bunch of good old-fashioned melody. Finely crafted lyrics and strong melody, well that's the old magic of the classic pop song. That's what Nick set out to do, that's what he has achieved in spades.

Note: If you own a turntable, get the vinyl. Great pressing and, because of the modest length of this album, the single 12" LP could be mastered at 45 RPM for higher resolution.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Waterston VINE VOICE on September 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I enter into this review with one giant caveat: I am a *huge* Nick Lowe fan. I own virtually every American release the man has put out and have bought several plane tickets to other states to see him perform. I also live in Nashville, Tennessee, which he plays often and where he maintains family ties thanks to his former marriage to Carlene Carter, Johnny Cash's stepdaughter...so bear all this in mind when you read what I have to say.

This record is just fantastic. In the old days, Nick Lowe wrote barnburner songs about getting lucky in love, driving a fast car, and a lot of the tropes you heard in songs originating in the American South during the 1950's; my mother is convinced that Nick Lowe is Elvis Presley reconstituted. In a way that comparison makes a certain amount of sense - the original singer of joints like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" was also capable of moments of sentimentality, as evidenced by songs like "Love Me Tender" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". So 'tain't necessarily true that someone primarily known for scorchingly good rock music is incapable of producing moments of more delicate sensibility.

Songs written by Nick Lowe, regardless of genre, are hallmarked by Lowe's staggering songwriting abilities. For the better part of forty years, the man has cranked out hit after hit, from the AOR radio hit "Cruel to be Kind" to the perpetually covered "What's so Funny 'Bout Peace Love & Understanding" to the lesser known, but still mighty swinging "Jumbo Ark" from his 1991 affair "Party of One.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My take on this album is pretty much the same as reviewer Jeff Monroe: this is just TOO mellow. Yes, the last few albums were nice and Nick's new "style" seemed to suit him well. But it's starting to wear a bit thin and all sound samey. These new songs aren't bad. Far from it. But the nice mellow mood permeates every song to such a degree that is really DOES make one a bit sleepy. C'mon Nick, pick up the tempo every now and then! Having silver hair shouldn't negate the ability to shake, rattle, and roll a bit too. Maybe only giving this 3 stars is a bit harsh. The songs here are well-crafted and Nick's vocals still sound superb. On one level, this is a very nice album. But it just doesn't move me. I think this album just needs something more, like an infusion of farfisa organ or something spirited. I know that Nick thinks he's too old to play that "juvenile rock and roll" at this point in his career, but I really do wish he'd try to contact the spirit of Switchboard Susan and her friends once again.
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