By: Kyle Ward
After finally returning to the pinnacle of country music with “Gimmie That Girl”, his first chart-topper in 5 years, Joe Nichols now brings us his follow-up “The Shape I’m In”. The song follows the story of a man attempting to move on after he loses his significant other. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles on this track, no grandiose gestures, no crying in his beer, or attempts to get her back (or back at her), just a simple tune about moving on. And - as Nichols learned from “Gimmie That Girl” - simple works for him.
The lyrics are somewhat understated, and but quite effective. When Nichols says that “Freedom caught me on the chin”, and “I’m gettin’ better, at barely getting by” he accurately paints the picture of a man dealing with acceptance. What really elevates the song is the somewhat sparse production. Although it gets a bit noisy during the chorus, the distraction is minimal. The melody is sure to draw comparisons to “Gimmie That Girl”, but it’s the production that sets the songs apart for me.
Overall, Joe Nichols has provided an enjoyable song that, while not overly memorable, should keep him relevant at radio for the rest of 2010. The laidback feel and catchy melody should play well as summer fades into fall.
Written by Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins.