While old mucker Elvis Costello hangs with Sting, endorses cars and credit cards, and fails perennially to add a single memorable melody to his repertoire, Lowe has sharpened an already prodigious talent in the six years since The Convincer. His new record is a masterclass in both classicism and economy: the nine originals sound like long-lost standards - no note is wasted, no sentiment over-played. Straddling ska, soul, country and rockabilly, and channelling everyone from Al Green to Dean Martin, Lowe pulls it all together with warmth, wit and searing emotional honesty.
Graeme Thomson has written for Esquire, MOJO, Maxim, Rolling Stone, Time Out and is a regular contributor to The Word and the Observer Music Monthly. He is the author of biographies on Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson.