Review: Lowe Jeff: Hitchcock cafe
Label: Heartquake Records
Our Ratiing ******** 8 out of 10
London-born singer and guitarist Jeff Lowe has spent decades playing as a session musician and has worked with a variety of producers including Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Robbie Williams and Grace Jones) and Dave Bascombe (Tears for Fears). Unsurprisingly, he has been influenced by a variety of musical styles in his career and these are shown off in abundance on his new album Hitchcock Cafe. From the jazz-rock solos of the relaxed Wrong Junction through the folksy Suicide River, the stylish acoustic Travesty of Justice and the funky Real Good Gig, Hitchcock Cafe is a pot-pourri of genres in the spirit of experimentation that defines the ethos of his own Heartquake Records label operating from South Street Studios in Devon.
Lowe switches effortlessly from acoustic guitar, to slide to heavy rock intertwined with clever string and chorus arrangements.The experiments are by no means confined to the music. Lowe has written for bands like Cutting Crew and Stoney. Here he has assembled in an interesting set of songs that are full of surprises. Goldilocks, with its "Are you sitting comfortably, then I'll begin" intro is a modern-day fairy tale in which the mysterious heroine is working to keep the wolf from the door. No mention of porridge though, but we do get marmite soldiers and other every day assortments in well-perceived love songs like Travesty of Justice and Bypass the Bypass.
Theres social comment to add to the mix too, most notably on Public Information Song, a catchy and witty take on our modern surveillance society and reality television, and Closer, a parody of celebrity culture in which the protagonist is unable to get up from his sofa because his identity is woven into the television heroes he watches.Hitchcock Cafe is certainly worth a short stay on the sofa.