THE CONVINCER (Yep Roc) Nick Lowe
A stunning work of relaxed and relaxing inspiration. So straightforward, so clean, so uncluttered. So refreshing.
The Convincer is the third part of a trilogy that began with The Impossible Bird and Dig My Mood (both on Rounder Records). Nick is the man, he's been writing incredible songs and producing groundbreaking yet lasting Pop records since the mid 70s.
He was one of three guys that started Stiff Records, one of their early successes was Elvis Costello's first, My Aim Is True, which Lowe produced. (The backing band was Clover from Northern CA, which included Huey Lewis. Stiff would probably have broken them, too, but Punk was about to explode globally.) Although Elvis was the first to popularize Lowe's great song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," he really cashed in on it when the Curtis Stiger cover of the song made it on to The Bodyguard soundtrack, which had huge worldwide sales. John Hiatt's best record, Bring the Family, was made in four days with Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner, and Nick Lowe on bass.
Nick Lowe is an invaluable link between 60s Soul and Pop recordings and all that has come after. His sense of humor and his flair for the romantic song always blend and frequently coalesce, his English wit always sets his songs apart. On The Convincer, "Lately I've Let Things Slide" sounds great right after "Only a Fool Breaks His Own Heart." And his spot on cover of Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side of Town" is so touching, and segues staight into "I'm a Mess." When he does it, major seventh chords and very quiet drums are perfect in Rock and Roll, because it's Nick Lowe.
Now I'm jonesin for those Lowe singles, "I Like the Sound of Breaking Glass," "Cruel to Be Kind," and "Crackin Up." Have to dig out The Impossible Bird and get Dig My Mood from Rounder. Check out Nick's new label, Yep Roc Records, they're doing a lot of good artists, we want to hear more from them. As far as Pop for grownups goes, Nick Lowe is Top Ten. FG