Chris Stapleton is an American singer/songwriter, originally from Lexington, Kentucky, but now based in Nashville, Tennessee. He has had six country number one singles, and his songs have appeared on the albums of various artists including Adele, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley. Prior to releasing his debut album ‘Traveller’ in 2015 he was the frontman, from 2008 until 2010, for the bluegrass group ‘The Steeldrivers’. Today, I will be his album ‘From A Room: Vol 1’ which was released on May 5th 2017. Speaking of which you can check out what I thought of Vol 2 by clicking here.
‘Broken Halos’ from the get go Broken Halos shows up Stapleton’s amazing voice, he knows how to put it to good use as well. This song is one of those tracks you just keep playing, I’ll admit this was a common repeated track for weeks even after I’d finished the review, in no small part due to the fact that it’s simple but still catchy.
‘Last thing I needed, First Thing’ is a little slower and more reflective than ‘Broken Halos’ but you still get to enjoy the dulcet tones of Stapleton as he sings us through a wonderful little bluegrass narrative. This track has a female accompaniment and it really adds something, I think his voice sounds even better when it’s complimented by another. I didn’t listen to this track as much as the previous one but I think I liked it better, it was just a charming little song that works really well.
‘Second one to Know’ is far more upbeat than the previous two tracks and while they were far more country oriented this track was far heavier on the rock. It has this great little guitar riff at about 1.20 that kicks the entire track up a notch. I could totally see this song being played on a jukebox at a bar and I like that the track evokes such a strong image.
‘Up to no good Livin’ is one of my personal favourites on the album, whereas the previous song was more rock, this one takes the other side and is more southern/country inspired. He does both really well and as I’d said when talking about ‘Last thing i needed, First thing’ his own voice is enhanced in this track by the sections where he’s backed up by a female singer. I like how this one goes and I reminds me of the kind of things my mum used to listen to when I was a kid.
‘Either Way’ the last track wasn’t necessarily fast, but this song takes things real slow so theirs a very distinct contrast that’s really enjoyable. I’ve also noticed that he manages to do something different with each of his tracks while keeping an overall symmetry to the songs. I also think this track out of all the others on the album best shows his singing and vocal range, and that he doesn’t just hit low notes but also can belt it out when required.
‘I was Wrong’ listening to the intro this song initially didn’t seem to fit, not in a bad way but it just didn’t seem like any of the previous tracks. I happened to like it because of that and as soon as he sung it suddenly sounded alot more familiar. This song again also shows the vocal talents of Stapleton and I think that it also ranks highly on my personal favourites for this album.
‘Without your love’ has a softer more melancholic opening with the intro taking its time before Stapleton starts to sing, and you get an instant sense of the emotion behind this song. That’s one things I’ve noticed, he manages to shares the emotions of the song without it sounding to heavy handed. It picks up about halfway through, a little more energy and speed but it just adds to the undertones the track presents throughout.
‘Them Stems’ has an amazing opening guitar riff that I could honestly listen to for days. I liked this song, it reminded me a little of ‘Bad Things’ by Jace Everett but with more of a swing to it, but it evokes that same thing somewhere in the back of your head where you just love it.
‘Death Row’ is the final track on the album and I always put a little more weight on these than the other tracks because it doesn’t bode well for an album if it’s closer is bad, but that wasn’t the case here. ‘Death Row’ starts with a really low key baseline intro, before Stapleton comes in and he doesn’t disappoint with his voice for this final track, giving us more of the same impressive vocals he’s given throughout the album. This song is really easygoing and serves well as the closer track, its really good and doesn’t dip in quality, just like the rest of the album really.
So that’s what I thought of Chris Stapleton’s album ‘From A Room: Vol 1’ and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify. Make sure and support the artist by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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