The Cadillac Three - 'Bury Me In My Boots'

Country-rock group The Cadillac Three released their new album Bury Me In My Boots earlier this month, on August 5th. I am not particularly a fan of The Cadillac Three but was recently pointed towards this album and was tempted to listen to it, particularly with it's long standing run at the top of the UK iTunes country chart.

The trio fit into a distinct niche within country music and have an arguably limited appeal to listeners who aren't already fans of the type of country-rock they produce. Generally I'm afraid this isn't really the album for me however I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying some of the tracks here.

Title track Bury Me In My Boots, for instance, verges on being a little too rocky but is still incredibly catchy. There are a couple of times during the track where the chorus strips back to just Jaren Johnston's lead vocal and an acoustic guitar which is really effective and is something that I'd like to see built upon further. Bury In My Boots tends to veer towards a more bluesy rock sound which is very successful and makes for a very compelling listen.

Graffiti is another strong track with a similar overall bluesy rock feel to that of Bury Me In My Boots. Happily, for the majority of the track the production is at a level that adds a grit to the track rather than making it overpoweringly rocky (towards the end of the track you do find yourself wanting to pull back slightly). White Lightning is one of the most frustrating tracks on the album. It could be really impressive and the instrumentalisation itself is one of the strongest on the album but the highly repetitive lyrics mean that the track very quickly becomes boring. This is one of the points in the album where Jaren's distinctive tone seems at it's best, it's a real shame that the track as a whole just doesn't work.

The inclusion of Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Eli Young Band's Mike Eli on The South immediately intrigued me but it quickly just ends up feeling like just plain noise. The huge contrast between the strong - yet too short - gospel style hook and the excessively rocky rest of the song just doesn't work and it's a shame that we don't get to hear more from Dierks and Mike in particular.  Slide is arguably the worst track on the album and sticks out as the most 'bro-country' inclusion here. The almost frenetic pace behind the production becomes a little uncomfortable and it will inevitably lead to listeners skipping the track in search of something a little more comfortable. It's frustrating considering the strength of other tracks that Jaren has written and feels like a shame to be relieved that the track is the shortest on the album (at only 2 minutes 36 long).

One thing that sticks out here is that you end up really wanting the trio to do something different and surprising within the album, it would be nice to see them step away from the heavily rocky numbers and give listeners something to really get their teeth into. Interestingly, Jaren Johnston is forming quite a name for having co-written some great tracks for other artists (such as the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet Meanwhile Back At Mama's and Frankie Ballard's number one Sunshine & Whiskey) but it feels like Bury Me In My Boots distinctly fails to stand alongside the majority of the songs Jaren has co-written for other artists.

Track listing....
1) Bury Me In My Boots - Kelby Ray Caldwell, Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason
2) Slide - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, Lindsay Rimes
3) Drunk Like You - Jaen Johnston, Neil Mason, Jesse Frasure
4) Graffiti - Neil Mason, Corey Crowder, Luke Dick
5) Buzzin'" - Jaren Johnston, Luke Laird
6) Party Like You - Jaren Johnston, Jon Nite, Jimmy Robbins
7) Ship Faced - Jaren Johnston, Brent Anderson, Jerrod Niemann
8) Soundtrack to a Six Pack - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, Benjamin Cashatt
9) White Lightning - Jaren Johnston
10) The South (feat. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli) - Jaren Johnston
11) This Accent - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, Jimmy Robbins
12) Peace Love & Dixie - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, Ryan Hurd
13) Hot Damn - Kelby Ray Caldwell, Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, Andrew Dorff
14) Runnin' Red Lights - Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason

There are the occasional glimmers of something that could be really good here but overall it just feels as though Bury Me In My Boots as an album is a little average and does very little to draw listeners in through either the melody/production choices or the lyrics as a whole. Whilst listeners who are already fans of The Cadillac Three will probably like this album and it is one to think about purchasing if you are a fan of country-rock, after listening a few times I'm still not convinced that this album is going to appeal to a wide spectrum of country music fans. Disappointing overall, this has done nothing to really make me a fan of The Cadillac Three.