Rodney Atkins continues his journey in country music with his fifth studio album Caught Up in the Country. Released eight years after his last studio project, 2011’s Take a Back Road, Atkins blends thoughtfulness with his traditional style of country music to create the well-rounded project.
Here are five of the best moments on Caught Up in the Country.
“Caught Up in the Country”
The title track and lead single is a bright moment on the album, one where you can feel Atkins’ spirit come alive through the lyrics and lively production. What truly makes the song special is the company of the revered Fisk Jubilee Singers, a troupe of a capella singers at Nashville’s historic Fisk University whose history dates back to 1871. The choir adds a gospel element to the song, their shining voices and spirited stomps and claps making the song soar.
“Figure Out You (Riddle)”
Atkins’ spent the years in between the release of Caught Up in the Country and Take a Back Road falling in love and building a family with his wife, songwriter Rose Falcon. You can feel their love in this new project, particularly on the gentle duet “Figure Out You (Riddle).” The husband and wife team trade lines about navigating the complexities of one another, Falcon’s voice glowing while Atkins’ simmers as they unite on such lyrics as “you’re my favorite wonder of this world, I got a million crazy questions, but only one I know the answer to, I wanna spend the rest of my life trying to figure out you.”
“My Life” is more than just a three-minute song, it’s a heartfelt ode to a pair of special people in the couple’s life. The song was co-written by Atkins and Falcon and is inspired by her grandparent’s 71-year marriage. During her final days, Falcon’s grandmother wrote a note to her grandfather, recalling the beauty of their journey while remarking “I loved my life.” That line led to the inspiring love song that has the country star reflecting on the aspects of himself he’s discovered new appreciation for through the love of his wife. “I love my eyes ‘cause you look into ‘em, I love my heart ‘cause you stole it, I love my life ‘cause you’re in it,” he sings on the track that stands as the album’s most poignant moment.
“Everybody’s Got Something”
Falcon again brings her warm presence to the song that speaks of the pain that comes with trying to move on from a past love. Her soothing voice brings emotion to the song as she and Atkins compare the inability of moving on from someone you miss to an inescapable shadow or quitting an addictive habit. Their voices together make for one of the album’s strongest elements.
“Waiting On a Good Day”
The final number closes the album with a somber story that’s anchored by hope. “Waiting On a Good Day” tells the story of a troubled couple who’ve fallen on hard times on their farm. The warm melody takes the edge of the song’s melancholy lyrics that speak of lost crops and half-hearted broken hearts, but Atkins brings a silver lining into the track with their vow to stand by one another. “We had a few good years, then it got so sad ’round here, we’ll have to cheer up to cry, I knew we’d make it through that rough patch together, we’re just waiting on a good day,” he sings ruggedly, bringing the project to a thoughtful close.