Title: Hope For Us All
Artist: Nick Lowe
Album: At My Age
Let's start soft this week. I know it's not the rock and roll way, but it's nice to see an artist age gracefully. With nothing left to prove or lose, 58-year-old Nick Lowe put away the Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender Telecaster that graced the cover of 1978's Jesus of Cool and replaced them with an upright bass, a restrained Hammond organ and a smooth jazz horn section for At My Age. (Unfortunately, only this live acoustic version of "Hope For Us All" was available on YouTube.)
Lowe has shown a penchant for earnestness before (see "[What's So Funny 'Bout] Peace, Love and Understanding") but you'd be forgiven for suspecting a hint of sarcasm from the same pen that wrote "Cruel to Be Kind" and "Little Hitler." On this golden years release, however, Lowe assumes the persona of a hopeful crooner, delivering secular sermons on love, patience, and perspective. "Hope For Us All" speaks to those wallowing in self-pity or self-doubt, suggesting that even a "feckless man" can find love. Even a feckless man!