This is a review of "How Things Are Supposed To Be Done" recorded by Rob Nichols. The review was written by Miles Spilsbury in 2012.
'How Things Are Supposed To Be Done' is the latest offering from Leeds-based singer/songwriter Rob Nichols. It features nine original songs, all written by Nichols, and recorded live during April and May 2012 with a full band.
The whole album has a genuinely engaging feel to it, and the decision to record live lends the release to a warm, organic sounding production. The energy of a live performance is also ever present on the album, which is perfect as some of the songs could have sounded a bit droll if recorded in a sterile studio environment. You can hear so much of both Elliott Smith and Bob Dylan in Nichol's voice, the culmination of a lengthy list of influences gives him his own identity as a convincing songwriter.
The album showcases some well-crafted song-writing, but it's also quite inconsistent between tracks, a few songs feel dangerously close to being album fillers. He doesn't really stray from the avenue of soft and inoffensive folk-rock, but then again, he doesn't really need to. The album as a whole is pretty coherent, mainly because Nichols has kept a consistent style not only throughout the release, but also throughout his career, ever since his self-titled debut 11 years ago. Overall, it's an enjoyable and assured record with some decent songs and tasteful musicianship.