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Joe Nichols - III
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

Joe Nichols manages to bring a uniquely fresh panache to his pure form of classic country and it is a more confident and mature singer we hear on this album. If you have ever seen him perform live, you know that he isn't afraid to poke fun at himself and you get to see a hint of that in the video of "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off." But in an era where the first consideration about a song is often how radio friendly it might be, it isn't always the best song that is chosen to be the lead single for an album; such is the case with Nichols' III. I don't mean to imply that "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" isn't a good novelty tune with a clever hook, but it sure isn't the best song on this album by a long shot. Quite honestly, it is when Nichols gets into a "misery and gin" mode that he gets my undivided attention and, thankfully, there are some great ballads on this album.

"Talk Me Out of Tampa" reminded me of Keith Whitley's "Miami, My Amy." Like Whitley, Nichols has the ability to put so much ache in the lyrics that you can hear his heart breaking. In fact, I keep hoping that one of these days he will record a tribute album to Whitley or, at the very least, cover "Would These Arms Be in Your Way" with Emmylou Harris (Joe, are you listening?).

"That's What Love Will Get You" is a catchy, up-tempo tune that gives Nichols a chance to show off his ability to do, what I call, a vocal slide. He does this to perfection on the slow songs; on the faster songs it is even more impressive that he can get four sounds out of a one syllable word. "I'll Wait for You," written by Bill Anderson and Harley Allen, is an emotionally charged love song with a poignant message and when Nichols says, "sweetheart," well - get out the tissues. But you won't be depressed for long because right on the heels of this tear jerker comes a magnificent cover of "Should I Come Home (or Should I Go Crazy)" which was a big hit for one of Nichols' musical heroes, Dale Watson. He also covers Steve Earle's "My Old Friend the Blues." On this track you hear the voice; that flawless, exquisite, perfect baritone voice that got you hooked the very first time you heard Man With A Memory.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Joe Nichols is one of the most charismatic people in the entertainment industry (all genres) and he has one of the greatest baritone voices of all time. After reviewing his very first album I used one word to describe him, the word was incomparable. This is still a most accurate description. Nichols has a voice that was born to deliver traditional country music and with his handsome good looks and captivating personality he certainly has all the ingredients required for long-term success.

All of the songs on this album are keepers but Nichols truly shines on "Just a Little More." They definitely saved the best for last. This final cut was my favorite track and since the song fit Nichols' voice like a pair of Wrangler jeans fit another well-known country singer, it was not surprising to find that the song was written by Joe Nichols and Donny Lowery. Smart move putting "Just a Little More" at the end of the album; it definitely left me wanting "Just a Little More."

Buy The CD Now!

Joe Nichols III song list:

1. Size Matters (Someday) 
2. Freedom Feels Like Lonely 
3. Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off 
4. Talk Me Out of Tampa 
5. That's What Love'll Get You 
6. I'll Wait for You 
7. Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy?) 
8. My Old Friend the Blues 
9. As Country as She Gets 
10. Honky Tonk Girl 
11. Just a Little More

Related Links:
www.JoeNichols.com - Official Website
Joe Nichols - Revelation - CSO Review
Joe Nichols - Man With A Memory - CSO Review

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