Joe Nichols' latest single, 'The Shape I'm In,' shows a continuous growth in his song selection. Once again, Nichols leaned on the Peach Pickers -- Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip -- the writing trio responsible for his last No. 1 hit, 'Gimmie That Girl.' Akins spills to Taste of Country about the story behind the hit.
"Dallas had just gone through a breakup," Akins tells Taste of Country. "He was kinda down and out. We were talking about that. Ben said his Granddaddy would say, 'I'm doin' alright for the shape I'm in.' We thought that was a cool song idea, so we wrote that song based on a breakup. We put all our past experiences in there and how it feels."
In one verse, Nichols sings of small improvements made from a big hurt:
"Well I’m getting better at barely gettin' by / When I look at her picture, I don’t break down and cry / And all this time on my hands it’s getting easier to spend / Cause I’m doin' alright for the shape I’m in"
"Eventually things get better," Akins notes. "You do wake up the next day, sun comes up and you're not dead ... Every day gets a little bit better."
The songwriters wrote the chorus to reflect that very life lesson:
"The sun came up again this morning / I took my old fastback for a spin / Now when it rains it ain’t always pouring / And I’m learning how to live again / Yeah, I’m doin' alright / I’m doin' alright / I’m doin' alright for the shape I’m in"
Though the song describes a breakup, the music video takes a different spin. In the video, Nichols tips a hat to injured soldiers by using the descriptions of pain in the lyrics to mean a man on the mend from being hurt in battle. 'The Shape I'm In' is the third single from Nichols' sixth studio album, 'Old Things New.'