Kentucky man Chris Stapleton is a Country musician and a seemingly underrated one at that. After being in a string of Country bands, he launched a successful solo music career which has seen some good attention, won him multiple Grammys and he has written many chart-topping songs for both himself and other Country music artists. In other words, this is a postmodern artist worth paying attention to. He even featured on the Ed Sheeran song BLOW on the 2019 No.6 Collaborations Project album by Ed Sheeran. Chris Stapleton has released a string of solo albums and this is his most recent, and in some ways, his most popular release so far, despite the fact that Country music does not have the commercial impact that it used to do. Let’s take a listen to this album and hear if it sounds any good.
Starting Over begins with some gorgeous acoustic guitar and a melancholy vibe to the music. It is catchy and simple, and Chris Stapleton’s singing is excellent. This is a really good dose of Southern fried Country music and it is moving, emotional and intense. Chris Stapleton has some female backing vocals from his wife, Morgane, to match his own unique singing and vibe as well. A really pretty, gorgeous and fantastic neo-Country music tune, this is a great tune to listen to, especially if you dig the older musical styles out there. A fantastic listen, and yes, you should hear this if you haven’t already. There is some nice organ in the background and this tune is a winner. A deep, emotional and wonderful tune that has been a massive hit for Chris Stapleton, there are some gorgeous harmonies at the end. Wonderful stuff.
Devil Always Made Me Think Twice begins with some nice guitar playing that is very soulful and Bluesy. Chris Stapleton sings about life’s sins, and he sounds very honest and focused here. He launches into some awesome and raspy sounding singing which is brilliant. A catchy, well played and different tune, this is worth repeat listens and your ears as well. Even if you dislike Country music, this song is so good it may make you change your mind about this musical genre. Chris Stapleton sings and plays effortlessly on this song, and he is a 21st century musical great. A great piece of Southern fried music USA music, this sounds really awesome and effortless. Very great to hear, the outro has the guitar riffs of this song play to finish. Excellent music.
Cold begins with some sad-sounding piano, which is different. Soon enough, some steady drumbeats enter and Chris Stapleton gets singing very nicely. This is a song about tragedy and heartbreak in a relationship, which is typical Country music sort of stuff. A sad tune, it has some string sections and other sounds to match. A pretty, gorgeous and dynamic listening experience musically, this is something far deeper and more emotional than most Country music has recorded to date. That’s how good this is, this is very near-perfect music to hear, although it is definitely about heartbreak. An expressive guitar solo is here in the second half of the song, which matches the vibe and the string sections perfectly. A sad tune, but totally worth hearing. Wonderful music to hear, and definitely worth hearing on repeat, when the mood strikes. An excellent tune, it ends with some nimble bass guitar and piano to fade out. Great work.
When I’m With You begins with some interesting lyricism and singing from Chris Stapleton, and he reflects on his life at age 40. The music here is more positive sounding than the previous track, but is just as good, and is really marvellous and relaxing to listen to. A chilled out piece of music, with some great acoustic and electric guitar playing, it is quite clear from this album alone that Chris Stapleton is an undervalued Country legend. This is a passionate, powerful and fantastic listen about life and what one can experience and learn from it, with a lover, of course. A great listening experience, this is a great album already, without a doubt or question. A real joy of musicianship, it ends quickly. Nice.
Arkansas begins with some nicely overdriven Fender Telecaster parts, before launching straight into a powerful and amazing sounding tune that sounds really excellent. Chris Stapleton sings and delivers the goods here, and this is borderline Hard Rock here, which is very unusual for a Country musician to explore. Still, it is a wonderful tune that has some amazing power and precision. There is a tempo change with a great section of guitar solos in the second half of the song before this resumes. A fine and fantastic listening experience, this sounds really great. Worth your time and ears, this is truly awesome. Great work dude.
Joy Of My Life begins with some sweet acoustic guitar playing, some subtle percussion and some good bass guitar playing to match. Soon enough, the music launches into something wonderful here, and Chris Stapleton sings in a very awesome and cool way about a lover. “Did I tell you baby? You are the joy of my life…” is the climax line for this beautiful and pretty ballad about being in love. This is also matched perfectly by the music at hand, and there is a fresh and mellow guitar solo section in the middle. A great and wonderful piece of music, this is just like the best whiskey one can drink, if you have the stomach for it. A great and mellow love song matched by perfect musicianship and playing, Chris Stapleton does extremely well here. A pretty tune, and it is great from start to finish.
Hillbilly Blood begins with a fade in with multiple guitars and bass playing, launching quickly into a great acoustic tune which is in drop D tuning. Chris Stapleton then launches into a great piece of music about being a hillbilly who experiences Country life. Chris Stapleton is in fine form here, and he sounds super cool and decent here. A great and excellent tune to hear played in your pickup truck, or similar vehicle, this is a great listen throughout. Seemingly, Chris Stapleton has made a perfect album for postmodern Country music that has consistency throughout. There are some interesting sounds here in the second half, including acoustic guitar riffing and a touch of keyboard in the background. Excellent, once again. It stops nicely.
Maggie’s Song launches straight into the action, and is a cool and great tune about looking after a dog called Maggie. Indeed, this makes one think about the character from The Simpsons here. Regardless, this is another totally listenable and pleasant piece of music that has an organ solo in it. It just works tremendously well, and it has power and purpose, just like any great tunes out there. A sweet tune.
Whiskey Sunrise begins with some loose guitar parts, once again in drop D tuning. This launches into a deep and good song about missing a lover, and this tune is measured, well-played and incredibly great. Missing a lover, Chris Stapleton sings about drinking away one’s pain to deal with things, even if whiskey alone doesn’t help. There is some very expressive guitar soloing on this tune, and this is a gorgeous and deep Country music tune that sounds amazing and brilliant, just like the rest of the album. There is an amazing sounding guitar solo in the second half of this tune, which is also worth your time. Brilliant.
Worry B Gone begins with some more drop-tuned Fender Telecaster parts, and launches into a 12-bar blues-styled piece, complete with slide guitars. Chris Stapleton delivers an excellent and catchy piece of music that works. A great, lively and different tune, this should induce headbanging and is so catchy that one will remember it for ages after hearing it. The guitar soloing present on this tune is also brilliantly played and is an excellent example of why Chris Stapleton matters as a musician. A great, great listen, and this is a lesser track on this album? Doesn’t sound like it, it is excellent, through and through. It ends with some great Fender Telecaster riffing.
Old Friends begins with some mellow acoustic guitar parts, and guitar harmonics and launches into a mellow and laidback tune with Chris Stapleton speaking over the top of it all. Soon enough, he gets singing into it, along with more backing vocals to match. A great and inspired tune to listen to, the piano playing throughout is very beautiful. Alternating between spoken words and singing, Chris Stapleton comes across as a master of suspense. This is a tune to play with your mates, provided that they dig neo-Country music. In the second half, this really gets going nicely and sounds really excellent. A pretty, lively and interesting listen, the guitar solo present here is just gorgeous. Chris Stapleton has a bright future ahead of him, let’s hope he keeps up the good work here. The gorgeous guitar solo ends this tune, along with some organ. Nice.
Watch You Burn is an acoustic Country piece with some subtle drums. Indeed, this music is very atmospheric. Chris Stapleton launches straight into some awesome vocals about cowboys and other things in Las Vegas. A brilliant and wonderful listen, this evolves into a riff heavy and brilliant tune that is really excellent to hear. A joyous, interesting and awesome piece about revenge, this is wonderfully catchy and excellent. The sounds and playing in particular are really quite excellent. Chris Stapleton’s singing is really supercharged and awesome here, and he delivers the goods here. A really great piece of music, this is a pleasant listen. Worth hearing, it speeds up towards the end before finishing abruptly. Great.
You Probably Should Leave is another big hit from this album. It launches straight into a simple ballad and has Chris Stapleton singing about a lover who doesn’t stand a chance in a relationship. Nonetheless, this is another consistent and enjoyable tune that does have promise. A bittersweet and tender ballad, this sounds extraordinarily good. A fresh, lovely and dynamic tune that sounds incredibly cool, despite the heartbreak in this song. There is a simple guitar solo in the second half, and Chris Stapleton proves himself to be a great musician. Period. A nice song, although it is about love troubles. A real joy to hear, this is a gorgeous tune to hear. Wonderful.
Nashville, TN is the go-to place in the USA for Country music greats. Also, it is the last song on this album. It begins with some fingerpicked acoustic guitars and some nice slide guitars. It does sound great to hear. A wonderful, pretty and gorgeous piece of music, Chris Stapleton does a great job to finish up such a great set of underrated songs. This is an enjoyable listen about leaving Nashville and moving onwards and upwards, but not forgetting said place. There are some really pretty guitar parts throughout, and this is an enjoyable and listenable piece, complete with piano in the background. A true joy to hear, this is really great music. There is a gorgeous slide guitar part throughout, and this is a Country music singalong. Brilliant, another great song by our main man here. The slide guitar playing is gorgeous, and the album ends here.
Chris Stapleton is a true talent of postmodern Country music. Each track on this album is very near perfect, and Chris Stapleton remains one of the few artists in the 21st century who creates perfectly good music for many to hear. Should you listen to this release? Absolutely, especially if you like Southern USA fried Country music. Let’s hope that Chris Stapleton keeps the music going. He even has his own line of Fender amplifiers, which says a lot. A true legend of Country music, and the 21st century version of The Beatles in this genre.