BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Let it be said that Nick Lowe is such an exceptional artist that even a four song EP can offer as much satisfaction as an entire LP by practically anyone else. At this point in his career he’s clearly capable of shoring up his strengths with an abbreviated set of songs that sound like ready made classics even from the get go. Love Starvation is, in fact, essential Lowe, melodies that recall the best music he’s made throughout his career, from his early days as a proficient power pop champion through to his rebirth as an Americana Anglophile, flush with both credence and conviction.
Backed by his current collaborators, Los Straitjackets, Lowe sits comfortably at the helm, producing the effort and contributing three of its four songs. Opener “Love Starvation” brings to mind songs like “Cruel to be Kind” and his initial solo sojourns, flush with energy and effusive enthusiasm. “Trombone” sounds like a ready-made single, pop perfect and radio ready. The final two songs, “Blue on Blue” and “Raincoat in the River” find Lowe reverting to music of a vintage variety, affecting a smooth croon that would likely compel the Big O himself, Roy Orbison, to nod his approval. The arrangements echo that dedicated delivery, sharing the sense that Lowe has not only absorbed a certain pop pedigree, but effectively inherited it all by himself.
If this was the only thing Lowe had ever done, it would still be enough to constitute an abbreviated greatest hits, Indeed, each song represents Lowe at his very best. Love Starvation is not only a must-have acquisition, but also ample reason to love Lowe all on its own.