Two years to the day after releasing his debut album, Traveller, Chris Stapleton has given country music fans something to talk about with his sophomore effort, From A Room: Volume 1.
Because only Chris Stapleton has this many songs at his ready, every track on the new release was actually written pre-Traveller. The effort is pure country-bluesy-rock that Stapleton has made his thing in country music. Every note the man sings seems effortless wrapped in a blanket of unreal because few others could pull off this delivery.
Like Traveller, From A Room offers up depth, profound lyrics about the day-to-day and an uncanny amount of wit. Pure and simple, Stapleton can turn a phrase.
1. “Broken Halos“
Don’t go looking for the reasons
Don’t go asking Jesus why
We’re not meant to know the answers
They belong to the by and by
A gentle reminder that we often don’t know why things happen, but if you keep the faith, you’ll know one day.
2. “Second One to Know”
First, you stole my heart
That was the easy part
Don’t ever tell me that crime don’t pay
Now that it’s in your hands
Want you to understand
I would have given it to you anyway
What a quip– sometimes, if you want something, you should ask for it. Why steal it?
3. “Up To No Good Livin'”
I used to drink like a fish and hunt like a dog
Without a whole lotta shit not committed by law
People called me the Picasso of painting the town
Possibly my favorite lines Stapleton has ever put through reverb.
4. “Them Stems”
My dealer, he’s been out of town
And that’s really got me down
I hope he ain’t up in the pen again
‘Cause this morning I smoked them stems
I could do without all the weed songs in country music, but I love that Stapleton is worried about his dealer. He’s not just bummed he can’t get a dime bag, he’s concerned his dealer might be in jail. Classic.
5. “Either Way”
Baby, you can go or you can stay
But I wanna love you either way
Treat him, treat him wrong, love him or leave him– he’s gonna love you either way.
6. “Without Your Love”
Without your love
I’m just waiting on the sun shine
Without your love
Every hour is the darkest time of day
And every moment’s a crime
We’ve heard this story a million times, but Stapleton’s take on being a heartbroken and apologetic ex makes it feel brand new. You almost want to go through a breakup just to feel what he’s singing.
Chris’ sophomore album, From a Room: Vol. 1 is out now.