Nick Lowe settled a long-standing feud with Dave Edmunds with Party of One, hiring his former Rockpile mate to produce the album. Edmunds gives Lowe a sharper sound than before, keeping a tight reign on the performances and the songs -- for the first time, there are no covers on a Nick Lowe album. Theoretically, that wouldn't be a problem, but Lowe was in a songwriting slump at the time of Party of One. "All Men Are Liars," with its weird jab at dance-pop idol Rick Astley, is symptomatic of the record's flaws -- ingratiating melodies are undercut by forced humor and bland support. Even the best moments -- "(I Want to Build A) Jumbo Ark," "What's Shakin' on the Hill," "I Don't Know Why You Keep Me On" -- are undercut by stiff, colorless performances. For an artist who is defined by his relaxed charm, the stilted Party of One comes as an unwelcome surprise.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine