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.