Man with a Memory

Man with a Memory

4.4 5
by Joe Nichols
     
 

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Man with a Memory marks the debut of a new label, Universal South, and a new artist, Arkansas-born Joe Nichols. Label and artist both have a winner. Nichols's smooth, laconic delivery and medium-cool timbre could hardly sound more like George Strait -- and at a few junctures his emotive vocals recall the young Hag -- but this artist is, to quote a Strait hit ofSee more details below

Overview

Man with a Memory marks the debut of a new label, Universal South, and a new artist, Arkansas-born Joe Nichols. Label and artist both have a winner. Nichols's smooth, laconic delivery and medium-cool timbre could hardly sound more like George Strait -- and at a few junctures his emotive vocals recall the young Hag -- but this artist is, to quote a Strait hit of yore, a man on his own. In his original songs and his choice of covers, Nichols evinces an interest in content rather than formulaic production. His breakthrough single, "The Impossible," is a slowly building cry for reconciliation based on the inevitable reality checks occurring as the seemingly impossible actually comes to pass. Nichols co-wrote "Everything's a Thing," an infectious bit of country funk that endorses the Einsteinian notion that God doesn't play dice with the universe but rather designs every event in life for a reason. Another Nichols collaboration, the love ballad "Can't Hold a Halo," is buttressed by acoustic guitar and exquisitely rendered pedal steel moans. The spoken-sung shuffle "Life Don't Have to Mean Nothing at All" is a wry bit of commentary on contemporary social follies in the grand tradition of Roger Miller. Man with a Memory is an impressive start, and if Nichols continues to develop his voice as a writer in addition to covering sharp songs like those here, he'll be around a long, long time. Take note.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
From the looks of him -- long, unkempt hair and wrinkled jeans jacket over a black T-shirt -- on the cover of his major-label debut, Man With a Memory, you might expect that Joe Nichols aspires to be the next Kris Kristofferson-style Nashville rebel. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Vocally, Nichols sounds like Alan Jackson trying to make like George Jones, and he sings Nashville country songs played by Music City session players. The album's lead single is "The Impossible," a piece of country philosophy about how impossible things happen. In the first verse, the narrator's apparently invincible father turns out to be able to feel pain after all; in the second a paralyzed friend learns to walk. Most of the other songs range from barroom weepers ("She Only Smokes When She Drinks") to expressions of romantic devotion. Tom T. Hall's "Life Don't Have to Mean Nothing at All" is a particular highlight.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/23/2002
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0008817028521
catalogNumber:
170285
Rank:
61797

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. The Impossible
  2. Joe's Place
  3. Brokenheartsville
  4. She Only Smokes When She Drinks
  5. Everything's a Thing
  6. That Would Be Her
  7. Cool to Be a Fool
  8. Can't Hold a Halo to You
  9. You Can't Break the Fall
  10. You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet
  11. Life Don't Have to Mean Nothin' at All
  12. Man with a Memory

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Nichols   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Eric Darken   Percussion
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Shane Keister   Wurlitzer
Dan Dugmore   Steel Guitar
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Vince Gill   Background Vocals
John Hughey   Steel Guitar
David Hungate   Bass
Liana Manis   Background Vocals
Gordon Mote   Piano
Brent Rowan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Gut String Guitar,tiple,Hi String,Guitar (Baritone)
Harry Stinson   Background Vocals
Tommy White   Steel Guitar
Aubrey Haynie   Fiddle
Chris Thile   Mandolin
Tim Lauer   Accordion,Harmonium,Keyboards,Mellotron,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,National Duolian
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ben Fowler   Engineer
Paul Hart   Engineer
Brent Rowan   Producer,Engineer
Ed Seay   Engineer
Jonathan Russell   Mastering
Chris Latham   Engineer
Eric Conn   Mastering
Chip Matthews   Engineer
David Bryant   Engineer

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