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The Impossible Bird

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Album Review

Nick Lowe's best records have always been full of clever lyrics and undeniable pop craftsmanship; the exception is The Impossible Bird. For most of the 1980s, Lowe had been appropriating country and R&B influences, but The Impossible Bird is where he fully incorporates those styles into his songwriting. Lowe doesn't abandon his gift for melody; "Soulful Wind" and "12-Step Program (To Quit You Babe)" are as catchy as anything he's ever written. The difference is haunting songs like "The Beast in Me" and "Withered on the Vine," two rich, sad, introspective numbers that Lowe would never have put on previous albums. And that's what makes The Impossible Bird his best album since Labour of Lust — it's the most focused, mature, personal music of his career, without a single throwaway.

Biography

Born: 25 March 1949 in Woodchurch, Suffolk, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the leader of the seminal pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz, a producer, and a solo artist, Nick Lowe held considerable influence over the development of punk rock. With the Brinsleys, Lowe began a back-to-basics movement that flowered into punk rock in the late '70s. As the house producer for Stiff, he recorded many seminal records by the likes of the Damned, Elvis Costello, and the Pretenders. His rough, ragged production style earned him the nickname "Basher" and also established the amateurish,...
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