Album review: NICK LOWE – Quality Street

Proper Records (released 28th October)

Nick Lowe has had a long and varied career, with ‘Cruel To Be Kind’ perhaps his best known hit, that and ‘Milk And Alcohol’ he co-wrote with Dr. Feelgood, plus he’s worked with Elvis Costello, Ry Cooder and Johnny Cash amongst others. This is his first seasonal album, a mix of covers of Christmas classics and his own songs.

There are some lovely mellow moments on here like ‘Old Toy Trains’, where Nick Lowe’s gentle voice creates a lullaby. ‘Christmas At The Airport’ is a bit of fun, penned by Nick Lowe and his rock ‘n’ roll side comes to the fore on ‘The North Pole Express’ and love that Shadows approved guitar.

Roy Wood and Wizard’s classic ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ gets a radical overhaul to become a ska Christmas classic! A fine version and an album highlight. ‘Silent Night’ gets a nifty organ and brass backing, completed with a rock ‘n’ roll shuffle, great arrangement.

Brentford fans will particularly like the cover as it features two young lads in full Brentford kit (Nick Lowe lives in Brentford, not sure if he supports them though!).

If you thought Christmas music was endless repeats of the Christmas ‘classics’ do yourself a favour and get this album for your Christmas celebrations. Great fun from beginning to end.

****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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