One great album, and a rock-and-roll veteran puts a decade’s silence behind him

Nick Lowe is best known for producing Elvis Costello’s early albums, and for writing a song—“(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”—that many of us have always attributed to Costello. But Lowe was a fine performer in his own right: His group Brinsley Schwarz was one of the first great pub-rock bands. And Lowe’s new studio album—his first in ten years—is a wonderful return to form.

A country-tinged song called “Checkout Time” wouldn’t be out of place on one of Merle Haggard’s better albums. “The Poisoned Rose” is a pitch-perfect Elvis Costello cover. And “I Read a Lot” could be read as a sly reply to Costello’s “Almost Blue.” There are 11 songs in all, and every one is a pure and simple pleasure.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. One great album, and a rock-and-roll veteran puts a decade’s silence behind him