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Joe Nichols - Old Things New
by Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

On his fifth album for Universal Records South, Joe Nichols doesn’t simply sing Old Things New, with his wonderfully unique baritone, he clarifies exactly what those words mean, and he is certain to make “Believers” out of anyone who is willing to give him a listen.

This album, co-produced by Brent Rowan and Mark Wright, epitomizes, regardless of the genre, all great albums, so I’ll leave selecting a favorite cut from the ten songs on the album up to his fans. As for me, I liked them all, but a few songs that stood out on the initial run through were “Old Things New,” “Man. Woman,” “Cheaper Than A Shrink,” “This Bed’s Too Big,” and, the final track, “An Old Friend of Mine.”

Bill Anderson and Buddy Cannon collaborated with Paul Overstreet to write “Old Things New” and this song is clarified, classic, country with marvelous peddle steel and great lyrics that are certain to waft around your heart and dredge up old memories. Nichols says that the first time he heard this song, he “knew it was the song I’ve always wanted to sing. My gut, my soul, told me, ‘that’s mine.’” Clearly, he has a savvy gut and soul since this song fits him like a proverbial glove.

The very next track on the album, “Man. Woman,” is sure to become one of your all-time, favorite up-tempo, tunes and, over-all, the album has a really nice musical balance.

Cannon and Anderson joined forces again to write with Jamey Johnson on “Cheaper Than A Shrink” so, by virtue of great songwriters alone, the title cut, and this one, should become hits. The latter track is also certain to become a favorite bar anthem in honky tonks across the country and around the world.

This Bed’s Too Big” is a really sweet song and it is perfectly suited for Nichols, who has taken the Haggard way of resonating his voice to the next level; simply superb. This just may be one of those sleeper hits. I sure hope so because I love it when a cleverly written, simple tune, finds its way onto the charts and too, I’m a real fan of the songwriters; Gary Burr and Victoria Shaw.

Choosing “An Old Friend of Mine” as the final cut was brilliant on so many levels. The lyrics are incredibly visual and Nichols is accompanied only by a piano on this track. “My hands were shaking / and my knees were weak. / As I poured my last shot / and I drank my last drink / And I heard freedom ring / When that bottle hit the floor / and I just walked away / Not needing anymore.” This song not only showcases the resplendent quality and clarity of Nichols’ amazing baritone voice but he sings with so much passion that it is akin to witnessing an emotional free fall. Rick Tier and Brock Stalvey, the songwriters should be proud, this is a truly incredible song and they could not have chosen a more credible singer to sing it.

In his bio, he says, "I'm at a place in my career where it's not just about hits, but about who I am as an artist. It's about the work as a whole and what it says about me. I wanted this record to represent the best of who Joe Nichols is, and I'm really proud of what we've done,” and rightfully so. He has accumulated three number one, and seven top ten hits to date, and this album may just be the best album of his career so I’m sure there are many more hits to come.

Old Things New will be released Oct. 27.

Download from Amazon.com

Related Links:
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