When you've been making catchy pop songs as long as Nick Lowe has it's okay to look to classic sounds for inspiration. Lowe's new song, "Sensitive Man," finds the sexagenarian rocker digging deep into the essence of '50s Sun Records-era rock. The song could feel right at home on a jukebox next to a tune by The Crickets or Jerry Lee Lewis. The backing vocals, Tijuana Brass horns and jangly guitar sounds look to the past but aren't stodgy nor simply nostalgic.
Few musicians get better with age, but Nick Lowe is an exception. I've been following Lowe's music since his days with the country-rock band Brinsley Schwarz in the early 1970s. He wrote one of his best-known tunes with that band: "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?" But it wasn't until he left Brinsley Schwarz that people began hearing his name, first with the Dave Edmunds project Rockpile. (Edmunds produced one of the last Brinsley Schwarz records, the one with "What's So Funny.")