The Old Magic
“I’m 61 years old now/Lord, I never thought I’d see 30,” sings Nick Lowe on “Checkout Time” over a Johnny Cash–style country shuffle. Decades on from bridging pub rock and punk, he embraces age as a new friend. The softly parping horns of “Sensitive Man” and elegant balladry of “I Read a Lot” put Lowe's hard-won lyrics about love and loss into sharp relief. He even turns “Poisoned Rose,” by his old mate Elvis Costello, into a saloon song with a broken heart.