Lowe’s 1994 The Impossible Bird is a low-key, easy-going album which has a lot more to do with 1956 country music than with his ’70s punk roots. Nonetheless the 13 songs–10 Lowe originals and three country chestnuts–are marked by the sort of no-frills arrangements and unpretentious passion that made pub-rock so special in the first place. When Lowe sings a ballad such as “The Beast in Me,” “Withered on the Vine,” and “Lover Don’t Go,” the arrangements are so minimalist–just a hint of guitar and drums behind the organ–that the song lives or dies by the vocal. Fortunately, Lowe pulls off the difficult trick of sounding lonely and desperate without sounding self-pitying. Whether it’s a tongue-in-cheek rocker such as “12-Step Program (To Quit You Babe)” or one of the many ballads, Lowe hits the mark.
The 2021 reissue of The Impossible Bird is newly remastered from the original tapes.
The Beast in Me
True Love Travels on a Gravel Road
Trail of Tears
Shelley My Love
Where’s My Everything?
12-Step Program (To Quit You Babe)
Lover Don’t Go
Withered on the Vine
I Live on a Battlefield
I’ll Be There