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Chris Cagle (Capitol, 2003)

Chris Cagle

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Chris Cagle continues to play the likable rebel ( la Tim McGraw) with this his second release. And like McGraw, he's easy to like, but not so easy to truly respect. Rather than try and push the boundaries with his music, Cagle seems only to want to be liked.

This likable-ity factor is probably why he can get away with referring to women in a politically incorrect way, as he does on "Chicks Dig It" by also sugaring his sentiments with humor and childhood nostalgia. But except for the way "What A Beautiful Day" creatively plays with numbered days, there aren't too many examples of exceptional songs here.

Instead, stodgy lyrics such as, "Look what I found when I wasn't looking," (on "Look What I Found") fill out this recording of mostly predictable songs. Cagle produced with Robert Wright, and its sound is primarily that of rock-ish rhythms, but very little Southern charm. There's more to being a great country singer than just being liked. For example, icons like Johnny Cash can be really scary at times, and even Toby Keith doesn't please all of the people, all of the time. This leaves Cagle as someone who is nice, but ultimately inessential.

CDs by Chris Cagle

Back in the Saddle, 2012 My Life's Been a Country Song, 2008 Anywhere But Here, 2005

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