Whether it was with pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz, producing music for Elvis Costello and the Pretenders, or on his own solo albums, Nick Lowe has always been a rock 'n' roll classicist, preferring the simple pleasures of a perfectly constructed song to the shock of the new. Fittingly, "Hope for Us All," from Lowe's upcoming "At My Age," doesn't offer any big surprises -- and thank goodness for that. The song's soulful sway and classy horn chart and Lowe's humble, heartfelt vocals feel as warm and inviting as a favorite sweater. This isn't music designed to change the world, just to make it a little better for three minutes and 42 seconds.
-- David Marchese