Story by LB Rogers / Contributing Writer
Chris Stapleton only released “From A Room: Volume 1” in May, but that didn’t stop him from immediately returning with “From A Room: Volume 2” on Friday.
“Volume 1” was received exceptionally well, so much so that it was 2017’s CMA Album of the Year and recently received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album, but it’s safe to say that “Volume 2” will not be overshadowed by its predecessor. The second edition is just as prolific and musically astute as the former.
Like “Volume 1,” the songs contain traditional songwriting — simple yet captivating. And the album begins with a perfect example of that in “Millionaire,” a cover originally written and recorded by Kevin Welch and one of two tracks on the nine-track album that was not written by Stapleton. The song reminds listeners of the power of love and how it makes us rich. Throughout the entire album, Stapleton has picked and chosen meaningful songs like “Millionaire” to be featured on the record.
Tracks like “Simple Song” and “Nobody’s Lonely Tonight” exemplify Stapleton’s mastered skill of delivery. Both tracks contain limited words, stripped down instrumentation and uncomplicated production, yet both have so many layers of intricate meaning. Stapleton is one of the only commercial artists in the genre that can pull this off.
One of the most lyrically refreshing numbers on the record is a haunting, metaphor-rich tune about a “Scarecrow in The Garden.” The song tells the tale of a scarecrow in the garden that “looks like Lucifer” and the singer’s life around that garden. This track harkens back to the golden age of country music songwriting and is enchanting to Stapleton’s wide and varied audience.
Fans who like Stapleton’s rougher side will also get their fill from “Volume 2.” “Hard Livin’” and “Midnight Train to Memphis” are guitar-heavy honkytonk songs like those of the late Waylon Jennings. They’re loud, they’re heavy and they’re completely satisfying. These tracks are sure to be crowd-pleasers on the road.
On the other side of the token, songs like “Drunkard’s Prayer” and “Tryin’ to Untangle My Mind” show Stapleton’s remorseful side of the fast and hard life. It’s safe to say that fans will have lots of different perspectives to relate to in this collection.
The record is sealed with another simple and meaningful song entitled “Friendship.” This Homer Banks and Lester Snell cover really showcases Stapleton’s articulation of a simple and rather old-school song about friendship but in a modern format.
“From A Room: Volume 2” holds up next to “Volume 1″ as Stapleton further masters his delivery of nine different and traditionally relevant songs. The record is now available on all platforms.
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