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Chris Stapleton's Newest Album Is Here!

May 17, 2017

“The man, the myth, the legend” is a pretty popular saying, although sometimes taken a bit out of context. Chris Stapleton, though, wears the title like a crown – he is obviously a man, as mysterious as a myth, and, though sometimes unrecognized, turning into a legend of our time.

For all of you fans who follow country music religiously, you may recall listening to “What Are You Listening To?” (ironic, huh?) in 2013 as your first Stapleton moment. And for all of you who aren’t always on the up and up of country music, you probably share your first Chris Stapleton experience with much of America – his big 2015 performance, when he sang on stage with Justin Timberlake at the CMA Awards. With the combination of Stapleton’s recently released “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s 20/20 hit “Drink You Away”, millions of Americans began to ask Google “who, exactly, is this Stapleton guy?” As his name began to trend, so did his music – “Traveller, released six months earlier, topped iTunes. In the week after the CMAs, it rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 153,000 copies. Until that point, it had sold 97,000.”*

The sales of Traveller didn’t slow down after the CMA Awards – the album is now gold-certified and won best country album at the 2016 Grammys. Washington Post reports, “It’s the highest-selling country album (of 2016) and No. 4 in all genres of music (that year), behind only Adele, Drake and Beyoncé.”* With Stapleton becoming a top contender in the music realm, his From A Room: Volume 1 album has been awaited with high hopes. And on May 5, 2017, Stapleton fans were not disappointed (but did they really think they would be?) as they tuned in to the new album.

Rolling Stone reports, “From A Room was recorded in Nashville with throwback-country super-producer Dave Cobb at RCA Studio A, a venerable room where Waylon, Willie, Dolly and others made classics back in the day.”** Following in the footsteps of Stapleton’s predecessors, From A Room is filled with strength – for example, his voice singing/calling out frustratedly, “Girl you know that I still love you // And you know that I’m so alone” on the track “I Was Wrong” shows empowering honesty and vulnerability. Even in the moments when Stapleton sings at the top of his lungs, every word is filled with control.

And these moments of “singing at the top of his lungs” are not few and far between. Stapleton’s pipes are on display for much of the album, especially in tracks like “Either Way” and “Death Row”. His soulful voice spins country into a whole new genre consisting of not only country, but also blues, soul and singer/songwriter all in one. This twist allows Stapleton to live outside of any genre box, appealing to anyone who appreciates soulfully-written, simply raw music.  

From A Room: Volume 1 can make even the biggest country critic give the genre a double-take. As the question “can country music be about more than trucks and parties?” looms over country fans and nay-sayers alike, this album, and Stapleton himself, is the answer we’ve all been hoping to hear – yes, it can be, and it is, about so much more.


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