It’s All Good by Joe Nichols

Joe Nichols, who released a greatest-hits album earlier this year, kicks off the next chapter of his career with his eighth studio album. Much like fellow traditionalist George Strait, Joe sticks with what works for him—a combination of up-tempo songs and staunch country ballads, coupled with the quiet confidence and powerful traditional voice to pull off both.

Joe stays with a tried-and-true crop of songwriters, including Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins, who penned “This Ole Boy” (which, incidentally, was also recorded by singer Craig Morgan). Joe is at his best on the traditional romps like this one and “No Truck, No Boat, No Girl.”

Joe puts aside the good-timing for the slow burn of “I Can’t Take My Eyes off You,” which features lush backing by Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski. 2009’s Old Things New featured the gem “An Old Friend of Mine,” on which Joe was gut-wrenchingly honest about his past addictions.

With his new album’s title cut, he continues his journey of sobriety with a positive outlook, singing, I’ve learned one thing from the year I’ve had / It’s even if it all goes bad / It’s all good.

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