14 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some country singers lean on funny lines, overplay tender lyrics and wink at puns. Not Joe Nichols, whose 2007 release, Real Things, is a low-key wonder. On the opening title cut, stone fireplaces, cold beer, and “old timers telling lies” are just some of the pleasures Nichols convincingly and quietly sings the praises of. “Another Side of You,” one of the album’s most touching songs, is a sweet ode to a wife: stubbed toes, bad coffee and lousy moods, as well as tender romance, flesh out this portrait of a happy married life. “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” finds Nichols looking for more “real things.” Here the singer lets us know he wants to glimpse the less presentable side of a well put-together woman by asking questions like, “Do You paint your toes ‘cause you bite your nails?” Nichols can loosen up and get rowdy, too — witness the mid-tempo rocker, “Let’s Get Drunk and Fight.” On the closer, “If I Could Only Fly,” Lee Ann Womack joins Nichols for a fine reading of a haunting song by the late, great Blaze Foley.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some country singers lean on funny lines, overplay tender lyrics and wink at puns. Not Joe Nichols, whose 2007 release, Real Things, is a low-key wonder. On the opening title cut, stone fireplaces, cold beer, and “old timers telling lies” are just some of the pleasures Nichols convincingly and quietly sings the praises of. “Another Side of You,” one of the album’s most touching songs, is a sweet ode to a wife: stubbed toes, bad coffee and lousy moods, as well as tender romance, flesh out this portrait of a happy married life. “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” finds Nichols looking for more “real things.” Here the singer lets us know he wants to glimpse the less presentable side of a well put-together woman by asking questions like, “Do You paint your toes ‘cause you bite your nails?” Nichols can loosen up and get rowdy, too — witness the mid-tempo rocker, “Let’s Get Drunk and Fight.” On the closer, “If I Could Only Fly,” Lee Ann Womack joins Nichols for a fine reading of a haunting song by the late, great Blaze Foley.

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