Nick Lowe: Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family
Nick Lowe titled his U.K. solo debut Jesus of Cool 35 years ago, and now, he’s offered his first Christmas album. While Lowe’s recent critically acclaimed CDs have mined a mellow, melancholic mood, Quality Street sparkles with holiday cheer. A rousing, rockabilly/gospel-style “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” which opens the disc, recalls Lowe’s Rockpile days. This jolly St. Nick also enlivens the old Christmas curio “The North Pole Express,” a ska-inflected cover of Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday,” and festive, raise-a-pint renditions of “Rise Up Shepherd” and “Silent Night.”
The laidback, sagacious Lowe inhabits Roger Miller’s “Old Toy Trains” and two originals (“A Dollar Short of Happy” and “I Was Born in Bethlehem”). However, it’s the third Lowe original, the drolly hilarious “Christmas at the Airport,” that stands out as a new holiday classic.