Style: Warm country and R&B; compare to mellow Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Ron Sexsmith
Top tracks: "Stoplight Roses," "I Read a Lot," "House for Sale"
Has there ever been a greater example of a rock musician aging gracefully? On The Old Magic, the former New Waver and Elvis Costello producer returns to the same fertile crossroads of country, soul, and easygoing R&B that have made his last few records such unqualified charmers—and he brings some of his very best songs, to boot. One of Lowe's more melancholy works, Magic includes a trio of standout ballads ("Stoplight Roses," "House for Sale, "I Read a Lot") that link failed relationships to the narrator's own shortcomings; their heartbreak is tempered only slightly by Lowe's characteristic wry wit. "Checkout Time," meanwhile, takes the soul-searching in a different direction, as the singer wonders how those failings will affect his outcome come Judgment Day.
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