Disclaimer: This review was written after hearing audio samples from the album, as well as live performances of some of these songs. No illegal copies were obtained.
It’s been almost two years since the mainstream country world was introduced to Chris Stapleton. His debut album, “Traveller,” won several major awards and created a fan base for the former “Steeldrivers” front man.
Although it seemed like Stapleton could make an entire career off of “Traveller” alone, many fans, like me, were anticipating new music. In the past year, new material began sneaking into the country star’s performances, only making that anticipation grow.
Earlier this year, it was finally made official that there would indeed be a new record from Stapleton. But at the time of the announcement, no details were given, creating speculation among fans as to which songs would be included. Finally, on April 6, the details were revealed.
“From A Room: Volume 1” will be released on May 5. The nine song collection seems to pick up where “Traveller” left off quite nicely, but with a darker emotion.
The album’s opening track, “Broken Halos,” has been released as the first single. The mellow, acoustic-driven song sets the emotional tone of the album, much like “Traveller.” The song was performed on Dolly Parton’s “Smoky Mountains Rise” benefit telethon.
Also following Stapleton’s debut effort, the album contains Stapleton’s version of a country classic, “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning.” With Stapleton having what appears to be a healthy marriage to his wife and collaborator, Morgane, it’s impressive that he can pull off these heartbreak songs with such honesty.
Another one of Stapleton’s road-tested tracks, “Either Way” makes an appearance on the album. I was very pleased to hear that this song would be included. Its lyrics tell the story of a love that’s so far gone that a breakup would have no effect. “Baby you can go or you can stay, and I won’t love you either way.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Chris Stapleton record without a little greasy rock and roll. Songs like “Second One To Know” and, the album’s closer, “Death Row” definitely deliver, with Stapleton’s electric guitar front-and-center.
As the title suggests, “From A Room: Volume 1” will have a sequel, to be released later this year. Although there’s certainly no information as to what direction Volume 2 will go in, the project is certainly off to a good start.
For more information, including album pre-sales, visit www.chrisstapleton.com.