Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby, you've gotta be cruel to be kind"
Pure Tropes For Now People:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Pinker and Prouder Than Previous
- Adolf Hitlarious: "Little Hitler" has Lowe comparing Jake Riviera, his notoriously thuggish manager, to the Fuhrer.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Paul McCartney in "Nutted By Reality". "Rollers Show" pokes fun at the Bay City Rollers, but is noticeably more snarky.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Several of Nick's songs take shots at record label executives and the failure of Brinsley Schwarz, such as "I Love My Label", "Music for Money", and "Shake and Pop" and its alternate version "They Called It Rock".
- Black Comedy: "Marie Provost", detailing the drug overdose of the silent film actress Marie Prevost and her subsequently being eaten by her dog.note
- Bowdlerize: Lowe's solo debut album, released in England under the title Jesus of Cool, was originally released in the U.S. as Pure Pop For Now People.
- Cool Old Guy: The Jesus of Cool Old Guys, in fact.
- Cover Album: Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds Sing The Everly Brothers, whose covers were originally issued as a bonus EP for the Rockpile album Seconds of Pleasure.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Well, duh. It's only the name of his biggest hit, after all.
- Genre Roulette: Lampshaded by the cover of Jesus of Cool.
- Power Pop: One of the standard bearers.
- Protest Song: "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding". The original Brinsley Schwarz version was an Affectionate Parody of the genre. Elvis Costello's version wasn't.
- Punk Rock: His early Pub Rock recordings and "bash it out now, tart it up later" production style were important in its development in Britain, and he produced the first British Punk Rock single and album.
- Rated G for Gangsta: Nick commented that he deliberately changed his style because he didn't want an inappropriate Strictly Formula reputation, saying "I didn't want to become one of those thinning-haired, jowly old geezers who still does the same shtick they did when they were young, slim and beautiful. That's revolting and rather tragic."
- Record Producer: A respected producer in Punk Rock and New Wave Music, working at the helm for acclaimed albums by Elvis Costello, The Damned and The Pretenders among many others.
- Rick Roll: Let's just say that Lowe didn't intend for the entire stanza in "All Men Are Liars" about Rick Astley and "Never Gonna Give You Up" to have such a different meaning twenty years after the fact.
- Self-Deprecation: Some of his albums were named after punny plays on certain idioms, like Labour of Lust and The Abominable Showman. At My Age and Quiet Please: The Best of Nick Lowe also lampshade his stylistic change.
- Silly Love Songs: "Cruel To Be Kind" and "I Knew The Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll)" are both subversions of this trope.
- Take That: To Rick Astley in "All Men Are Liars"."Does anyone remember Rick Astley?
He had a big fat hit, it was ghastly
He said 'I'm never gonna give you up or let you down'
Well I'm here to tell you that dick's a clown"
- Tsundere: "Cruel to be Kind".