Joe Nichols is a country musician from the state of Arkansas. He set his eyes on a country music career at a young age. However, his initial efforts met with no success. His first deal with Intersound Records resulted in nothing but a low-selling, self-titled debut studio album in 1996.
Meanwhile, his second deal with Giant Records resulted in neither a single nor something more substantial. Nichols survived that period by doing odd jobs throughout Nashville, TN. Eventually, he secured a third deal with Universal South Records.
Thanks to that, he managed to release a much more successful second studio album called Man with a Memory in 2002. Nichols has been putting out studio albums ever since, which should make it clear that he has managed to find his audience.
Here are 10 of the best Joe Nichols songs ever released:
10. “Another Side of You”
“Another Side of You” was the lead single for Nichols’ fifth studio album Real Things in 2007. It managed to make it to the number 99 position on the Billboard Hot 100 and the number 17 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs.
Some people have described “Another Side of You” as an excellent choice of song for Mother’s Day. That is because its narrator uses its lyrics to express his appreciation for his wife, who has a very busy schedule because of her efforts for their family.
9. “Hard to Be Cool”
Nichols released “Hard to Be Cool” as the third single for his eighth studio album Crickets in 2014. The title has a double meaning. Essentially, the narrator meets a woman so irresistible that he feels powerless before her.
As a result, “Hard to Be Cool” doesn’t just mean he is struggling to put his best foot forward but also that he is struggling to remain calm and collected.
8. “The Shape I’m In”
Speaking of which, “The Shape I’m In” came out as a single for Nichols’ sixth studio album Old Things New in 2010. Chances are good interested individuals can guess that this isn’t the happiest of songs by its title. Still, there is a sense of resilience beneath the sadness. “The Shape I’m In” makes it clear the narrator is hurting but on the mend.
7. “She Only Smokes When She Drinks”
“She Only Smokes When She Drinks” is the third single from Man with a Memory. It didn’t do as well as either of its two predecessors. Still, a number 72 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 and a number 17 peak on the Billboard Hot Country Songs aren’t bad by any reasonable standard. Lyrics-wise, “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” is surprisingly non-formulaic.
The narrator is a bartender who has been approached for advice by a young man who has just given the titular character a light. The bartender tells the young man he has no real chance with her because she only smokes when she feels let down by men. In other words, making a pass would show very poor timing on his part.
6. “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”
In 2005, Nichols secured his second number-one single on the Billboard Country Airplay with “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” from III. The song is about exactly what it sounds like, though the funny thing is that it is more humorous than titillating.
For those curious, the titular character can handle any drink save for tequila, which makes her so drunk that she starts losing things such as her shoes, earrings, and jacket. Supposedly, Nichols got some of his inspiration for the song from his mother and sisters, who were prone to losing things when they had too much to drink.
5. “Gimmie That Girl”
“Gimmie That Girl” was Nichols’ last single of the 2000s. He called it one of the catchiest songs on Old Things New, though the critics seemed to have had a somewhat mixed opinion of the whole thing. As for the consumers, they seemed to have liked the song well enough because it became Nichols’ third number-one hit on the Billboard Country Airplay. On the whole, “Gimmie That Girl” is a clean, well-polished take on the country music staple of preferring a woman when she is most authentic.
4. “The Impossible”
It is a bit of an exaggeration that “The Impossible” made Nichols’ career, but it isn’t much of one. After all, it was the lead single for Man with a Memory, securing the number 3 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and the number 29 position on the Billboard Hot 100. As such, “The Impossible” built a lot of momentum for Nichols at a time when he needed it.
“Yeah” was the second single from Crickets. It did well enough in both the United States and Canada, which makes sense because it is an energetic song with a surprising amount of charm. Subject-wise, “Yeah” is a song about a summer-time one-night stand. It is named thus because the narrator decided to just go with whatever the woman had in mind, thus the repeated “yeah” in the lyrics.
2. “Sunny and 75”
Released in 2013, “Sunny and 75” climbed to the number 4 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, thus making it clear that Nichols’ Crickets would start strong. Strangely enough, it did even better in Canada where it went to the top of the Canadian chart for country music hits. “Sunny and 75” might not be particularly novel, but it is a positive, pleasant song in which the singer expresses the desire to go somewhere warm with his lover, which is more than enough to make it enjoyable.
“Brokenheartsville” followed “The Impossible” as a Man with a Memory single. Thanks to that, it seems to have gotten going with a bit of extra momentum, thus enabling it to hit the number 1 position on the Billboard Country Airplay and the number 27 position on the Billboard Hot 100. In other words, “Brokenheartsville” proved that Nichols wasn’t just a one-hit-wonder.
Regardless, it is a catchy song with a sympathetic message. The narrator is quite upset because a woman he had his eyes on decided to go with someone else. Still, he has the strength of mind to wish her well, though it is clear that he is still struggling with feelings of hurt and anger. Repetition worked wonderfully to make these things clearer than otherwise possible.
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