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Nick Lowe

Dig My Mood

Upstart

Dig My Mood indeed. Those familiar with Nick Lowe appreciate his peculiar sense of humor, which often cloaks the most serious subjects with an ironic set of lyrics and music. Lowe does away with his trademark subterfuge on this album, and the mood is somber and introspective. From the almost a capella opening of "Faithless Lover" to the closing "Cold Grey Light of Dawn," you are treated to a side of Nick Lowe that previously only reared its head infrequently ("Baker Street" comes to mind). Songs like "Failed Christian," "I Must Be Getting Over You" and "Man That I've Become" are as far from jolly as you can get, despite the occasional chirpy music. Still, not all is gloom and doom on Dig My Mood, and material that might come off as depressing in less capable hands emerges as fine songwriting in Lowe's. It's been a while since Lowe had a radio hit (a tragic fact in itself), so I doubt that his current fan base would object to anything on Dig My Mood, downbeat nature notwithstanding. It may not be what we're used to, but it's damn fine nonetheless. Rounder Records, 1 Camp St., Cambridge, MA 02140; http://www.rounder.com

--Ian Koss