Sunday, August 26, 2007

Labour of Lust (1979)

"American Squirm" Nick Lowe's one and only U.S. chart hit comes from this, but nothing here, not even that hit "Cruel to Be Kind," is really up to any of the coulda woulda shoulda gems on his audacious debut, at least not in terms of technicolor pop chutzpah. Still, I think I might like this album more. The country influences that led him in part to temporarily become Johnny Cash's stepson-in-law are more pronounced, the songs generally quirkier, more subtle, and dare I say sensitive. "Big Kick, Plain Scrap" is a showcase for drummer Terry Williams, "Switchboard Susan" all groaner puns, "You Make Me" tender as a bruise. Personnel on most of the songs here amounts to Rockpile, the band Lowe formed with Dave Edmunds. "American Squirm" features the Attractions and Declan MacManus himself singing background. A nice set.

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