My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Daily Archives: May 26, 2016

Classic Rewind: Merle Haggard – ‘If You Want To Be My Woman’

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Single Review: Joe Nichols – ‘Undone’

JoeNicholsUndoneJoe Nichols is one of the few mainstream artists to speak out against his own material, freely admitting he cut recent hits “Sunny and 75” and “Yeah” solely because they would guarantee him airplay. He’s even gone so far as to say if it were up to him, he’d cut the most traditional album he could and use members of The Time Jumpers on the project.

He’s playing the game because he came of age in an era where his traditional style didn’t help him rack up the residuals necessary for him to afford making the albums he wants to make. He’s released some fantastic singles, especially early on, but they weren’t enough to push him to the top of the genre.

Nichols certainly isn’t there now, either. His need for airplay almost guarantees his singles will be too generic to make a genuine impact. That certainly isn’t going to change now.

His new single “Undone” is little more than a trend follower, a three and a half minute argument that Nichols can hang with the cool guys. You know the story by now – there’s a guy and he’s entranced with his girl. She captivates him by stripping down and letting her long flowing hair fall past her shoulders. Just because he can hold his own, doesn’t mean he can rise above the pack and own it.

“Undone” is different from the rest of ‘em in that it retains a somewhat modern country feel and stays away from the hip-hop beats that have taken over the genre in recent years. The track actually feels behind the times, like it could’ve been released four years ago and made an impact then. The country instrumentation throughout is a nice change of pace, although the wall of noise production keeps the song squarely in a modern vein.

This is the second single from his yet-to-be-titled ninth album, which is still in limbo without a release date. “Undone” may get him back on the radio, but I doubt it’s going to help Nichols generate noteworthy album sales. How could it, when the song is barely memorable and sounds like every other song on country radio? Without any distinctive qualities, “Undone” just falls flat.

Grade: C