Nick Lowe & His Cowboy Outfit

The Rose of England

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Following through on the roots-rock leanings of Cowboy Outfit, Nick Lowe delivered the delightful The Rose of England. While some of the material is still rather lightweight -- "Lucky Dog" and "Bo Bo Skediddle" are defiant and thoroughly entertaining throwaways -- much of the record is clever and charming, delivered with laidback confidence from the Cowboy Outfit. "Darlin' Angel Eyes" and "The Rose of England" are minor classics in the Lowe canon, while his cover of John Hiatt's "She Don't Love Nobody" and the revival of the rockabilly standard "7 Nights to Rock" keep the album moving. Still, it's his stark take on Elvis Costello's lovely "Indoor Fireworks" that gives the album an anchor, and it's a performance so affecting that it makes the neutered reworking of "I Knew the Bride" completely forgivable.

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