Well here we are again. Another summer. Another country comeback story. Another charming album.
Last year it was Mark Wills, and this year its Chris Cagle.
On Back In the Saddle, the Texas singer navigates familiar territory but does so with aplomb. Opener “Got My Country On,” is a hard-charging rocker not unlike Jason Aldean and sticks at the heart of what Cagle does best: staying true to his persona. The same goes for the rousing rocker “Let There Be Cowgirls,” and the punchy “When Will My Lover Come Around?” Of those two, the latter is the most catchy, while the former has a jocular nature that lends itself well towards being a commercial success. For all his charms with the uptempo cuts, Cagle sounds best on ballads and nowhere is that more apparent than on the heartfelt “Dance Baby Dance,” a song written for his daughter. But a country music album is not complete without a love song and sure enough “Something That Wild,” and “Southern Girl,” are veritable proof of Cagle’s ability to deliver saccharine valentines.
If every album has apex moments then the slow-moving and honest “Probably Just Time,” is surely that movement. Ostensibly a song about regret, old age and coming to grips with moving on, it is a high water mark for the singer and the very reason why Back in the Saddle is worth repeated listens. Equally as strong as “Probably Just Time,” is “Just Enough,” a violin laden slice of traditional country that is amiable, pleasant and another notch on Cagle’s belt. When he sings about penny candy from an old dime store, it resonates just what makes Cagle so intriguing. He writes songs we all can relate to, and tugs at the core of what makes America the great nation that it is.
And with this release, Cagle is back in the saddle indeed, and ready to relaunch an already successful and tremendous career.