In a move that will keep his army of admirers on-side Nick Lowe’s upcoming Christmas album ‘Quality Street’ has already been defined as ‘a sleighbell-free zone’ by the great man himself. The album was launched via a 24-hour stream on youtube on July 25th and will have an official release date of October 29, 2013. Though you may not easily bracket the English singer/composer as a traditionalist Lowe still say fit to include 12 tracks on ‘Quality Street’, made up of a number of originals as well as some well-known and not so well known covers. Lowe wrote two of the originals, ‘Christmas at the Airport’ and ‘Was Born in Bethlehem’, himself and co-wrote ‘A Dollar Short of Happy’ with slide guitar hero Ry Cooder. There have already been favourable comparisons to Bob Dylan’s 2009 album ‘Christmas In The Heart’, as much for both artists late career jump into the Christmas market as the vitality and freshness of each release. Among the covers Lowe recorded for ‘Quality Street’ are a take on ‘Silent Night’, folk singer Ron Sexmith’s ‘Hooves on the Roof’ and Johnny Cash’s ‘I Was Born in Bethlehem’. Much like the box of chocolates that inspired the name of this Christmas album it seems that variety is the spice of this Christmas life.