Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Nick Lowe - Pure Pop for Now People (Jesus of Cool)

Starting with Brinsley Schwarz in 1969, Nick Lowe played a pivotal role in the 1970s pub rock and New Wave movement.  Not only did he make dozens of albums in his (still continuing) career, but he has also produced the likes of Graham Parker and Elvis Costello.  Lowe’s most famous song, (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding, is a classic that was popularized by Costello in the U.S. edition of Armed Forces.

Lowe obviously goes for the hook and his strength as a songwriter came together for his 1978 solo debut Pure Pop for Now People (known as Jesus of Cool outside the U.S.).   This is pop music that crackles with unbounded energy and enthusiasm.  The lyrics have plenty of tongue-in-check humor too – for example, check out the catchy ode to the Bay City Rollers in the track Rollers Show.  The musicianship is also tight with members of Rockpile adding their talent to the production.  The most well-known track is So It Goes, but the other (few) ballads and 3-chord rockers are equally infectious. 

 If you haven’t checked out Nick Lowe yet, go ahead and give him a try.  For further listening, Labour of Lust, Nick the Knife and The Abominable Showman are also worth your time. 

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