Chris Cagle

My Life's Been a Country Song – 2008 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Chris Cagle

If Chris Cagle's life actually was a country song, the first verse would be about a guy on top of the world - his first two albums went gold, "I Breathe in, I Breathe Out" was a number one single. But, of course, adversity comes knocking in verse two - multiple vocal problems, including a polyp and a lesion, stilled his singing for three months and forced him to bow out of a tour with Rascal Flatts; he lost a lawsuit against a former manager and had to pay $750,000, and his third album yielded only one single that cracked the top 40. Even more embarrassing it turned out he was not the biological father of his then-girlfriend's baby. (Now that's a country song.)

So in the last verse he's back and better than ever? Yeah, pretty much. The first single "What Kinda Gone" is rapidly moving up the charts. And there are a couple of other tracks that could easily do the same - most notably, the cute and catchy, if lyrically lightweight "Little Sundress" and the I'm-going-to-get-over-it anthem "My Heart Move On" or even the maybe-I'm-not-going-to-get-over-it "Never Ever Gone."

The rest of the album is a nice balance of ballads and uptempo stuff. He may not plow any new musical ground, but his rows are all straight and well-tended. And there are transcendent moments. His love of country music definitely comes through on the title cut, and it's obvious that he feels what he's saying on "It's Good To Be Back."

If Chris Cagle's life was a country song, it would be one that left you wanting to hear more.