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Caught between the desire for another big pop hit and his burgeoning re-interest in country music, Nick Lowe made the most confused album in his career with The Abominable Showman. Although Lowe’s craftsmanship hasn’t abandoned him, he isn’t particularly inspired on The Abominable Showman. Furthermore, much of the album is hampered by stiff, dated new wave production, which makes amiable throwaways like “Saint Beneath the Paint” irritating. Still, Lowe manages to break through the tedium with charming, clever pop/rockers like “We Want Action,” “Time Wounds All Heels,” “(For Every Woman Who Ever Made a Fool of a Man There’s a Woman Who Made A) Man of a Fool,” and the silly doo wop of “Tanque-Rae.” But a song as sharp as “Raging Eyes,” with its wryly observed lyrics and infectious melody, makes it clear what the rest of the album is lacking.