Album Reviews

Nick Lowe – Labour of Lust (Yep Roc)

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The music industry is home to many inscrutable practices, but why this certifiably punk pub/new pop masterpiece has been out of print for nearly two decades, and hasn’t received the deluxe spin, is as baffling as it is unconscionable. I’m betting there’s a legion of Lowe-lifes who’ll agree.

To say that Lowe was the epicenter of all the musical strains of Britain ’79 is horribly redundant, so let the music—inventive, infectious pop driven by the juke box muscularity of Rockpile—be your guide. There’s the eternal pop of “Cruel To Be Kind,” the Creedence swamp of “Cracking Up,” the smirking “American Squirm” (with young and snotty soulmate Elvis Costello on vocals), the crackling vitality of “Switchboard Susan”…well, you get the picture.

– Mike Jurkovic

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