Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Fellow Travellers

  • No Easy Way [OKra, 1990] **
  • Just a Visitor [OKra, 1992] **
  • Things and Time [OKra, 1993] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

No Easy Way [OKra, 1990]
notes on the abiding pleasures and disappointments of small-town life ("Promise of a Kiss," "No Vacancy") **

Just a Visitor [OKra, 1992]
your typical leftist country dub ("She Moved Away," "Mary, Her Husband, and Tommy Too") **

Things and Time [OKra, 1993]
Jeb Loy Nichols is a singer of helpless, studied nasality whose reference points are country, dub, and '70s soul, none of which he deems incompatible with the Carpenters or George Gershwin. And although on his third album he leaves class war to Gregory Isaacs's "Poor and Clean," he's also a lefty. In short, he's about as commercial as a Swedenborgian schismatic on public access. And so, with nothing to lose except a few creations that might otherwise fail to survive any posterity whatsoever, he puts 16 songs on a mournful, unhurried, all too hypnotic 65-minute CD. It could use some pruning, but the guy writes better all the time, with domestic epiphany, romantic resignation, and everyday fatigue his specialties. There's a sadness here beyond self-pity, and a unique groove to match. At least your mind will wander somewhere it's never been before. A-