Picks and Pans Review: Nick the Knife

updated 03/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Nick Lowe

Pub-rocking Lowe gets more mileage out of osculation than just about anybody. Elvis Presley might have written a song called Let Me Kiss Ya, as Lowe has, but can you imagine Elvis singing a line like "Oh how I wish you would pucker for this sucker"? On the same theme, Nick's got One's Too Many (And a Hundred Ain't Enough) and the high-stepping Zulu Kiss, in which he announces, "I want to Zulu kiss your eyes...your neck...your everything." He doesn't specify what a Zulu kiss is, but does reassure us that "nobody's ever done it/On the surface of the moon." The music matches the lyrics: wry, rollicking, full of pop exuberance. It could hardly be less with an all-star lineup that includes Lowe's fellow Rockpile alums Terry Williams and Billy Bremner, the Rumour's Martin Belmont, Squeeze's Paul Carrack, the Attractions' Steve Nieve and Nick's own wife, Carlene Carter. Heart, the beguiling high-speed melody from 1980's Rockpile album Seconds of Pleasure, reappears here, transformed into a lazy calypso. It works better than ever. Nick the Knife is sharp.

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