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Nick Lowe, ‘The Old Magic’ (Yep Roc)

It’s gratifying to see Nick Lowe, a critical darling who stood gawkily in the margins of ’80s pop trends, striding effortlessly through his inimitable late career. These lightly swinging throwback grooves and torchy ballads brim with ruminations ?about love from a sly, sure-handed codger who’s been around the block more than twice. Whether crystallized in dead-simple one-liners (“Checkout Time” opens by confessing, “I’m 61 years ?old now / Lord, I never thought that I’d see 30”) ?or finely tooled metaphors (“I Read a Lot”), Lowe’s sexagenarian years have real sparkle.