Over the brief period that Critically Country has been around I have discovered or had brought to my attention some truly unique artists/bands. Saints Eleven is without a doubt one of those bands that has recently been brought to my attention that I would call unique. Hailing from Denton Texas, Saints Eleven has blurred genre lines with their 3 piece band. If I were to describe what exactly they play I would say it is a mix of country, bluegrass and punk rock. Through the Saints Eleven’s first three albums the band has delivered open and honest lyrics with a unique blend of sounds.
Highlights: As a traditional country fan, one of the highlights for me has to be the song “Heartbreak Songs.” This is not only traditional sounding but, lyrically as well. The man aches for a return of real country music, real heartbreak songs. They seem like a thing of the past and he needs them now to make him feel better about his life. This song is laced with some great pedal steel guitar which starts in the intro. The most honest song on the album is the title track “Coming Back Around.” The narrator is very open about his mistakes but, vows to change. The fiddle play on this song is also outstanding, giving the song a tinge of bluegrass feel even though vocally it sounds more like a rock song. “Cryin’ Time” feels like a throwback classic country song. Lyrically the song is a sad song about the love of a man’s life walking out on him yet, the music of the song is actually uptempo reminding me of “Sometimes” for the Luke Bell fans out there. The best song on the album for me is easily the final song on the album “The Same.” This is another song full of pedal steel but, what I love about it is it’s relaxing, easy going tone. This an honest love song about two people getting away with each other. They aren’t taking a map because it doesn’t matter where they go as long as they are in the same place together.
Other Notable Songs: 2 songs on the album “For Those That Came” and “Almost Home” tackle the theme of a musician being on the road and away from their loved ones. As music fans we tend to think that the life of a musician is so glamorous however, we often forget about how difficult it can be. Finally, “Shelter Me” is an easily relateable song for anyone going through hard times. Everything seems to go wrong for this man and he just wants someone to shelter him from all the pain. You would think he would be used to the loneliness and pain at this point in his life but sadly he isn’t. The song does a great job of using imagery to help the listener imagine what he is going through.
Final Thoughts: Overall I enjoyed Coming Back Around which is the Saints Eleven’s 3rd album. I would recommend this album for fans of country and bluegrass but understand that your not getting one genre of music with these guys so it may take a few listens to really appreciate the album. I can appreciate open and honest albums and this one checks off those two boxes no problem.