Picks and Pans Review: Dig My Mood

updated 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Nick Lowe

As a veteran of the legendary British pub band Brinsley Schwarz and producer of Elvis Costello's classic early albums, Lowe was an architect of Britain's New Wave explosion in the late 1970s. And, with a string of his own sprightly solo albums (including 1978's Pure Pop for Now People), Lowe helped define Brit Pop, England's current musical flowering. Although he has inspired everyone from Costello to Hootie & the Blowfish, the fame and fortune of mainstream success have eluded him. Dig, his 10th solo album and first since 1994, finds him crooning a cycle of melancholy songs about heartbreak and emotional redemption. With his appealing vocal style, his undiminished gift for lyrics and his knack for composing three-minute rockabilly gems, it's a mystery why Lowe remains an underappreciated pop treasure. (Upstart)

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