Chris Stapleton
From A Room: Volume 1


4.0
excellent

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
November 27th, 2017 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A quick dose of the best that modern country has to offer.

An inherent problem with country music for me is that it doesn’t take much for something to be pleasurable enough that critical praise and commercial success will be lavished upon it. Every once in a while we have a man come along who stays true to the classic spirit of country music, manages to write some solid lyrics that don’t involve pick-up trucks and guns (whiskey is okay), and has a half-way decent singing voice that doesn’t stand out too much from the crowd.

In 2015, our man was Chris Stapleton. He blew into the industry with a guitar in his hand, some admittedly good tunes, and nary an original moment on his album. A Best Album nomination and two million copies sold later, and here we are today.

Maybe I’m being too harsh on the guy. I honestly did enjoy Traveller for all its faults thanks to the earnestness present in his delivery and obvious songwriting skills he flexed on a regular basis. Maybe country music is too far removed from the rock and hip-hop I generally enjoy (where unoriginality is flayed consistently by fans and critics) and inhabits a niche in the ear where all we need is truth and reliability. Maybe variety and uniqueness just aren’t things that marry well with the genre.

But if ever there was an example that this just wasn’t true, Stapleton manages to point out his own faults on the successor to his debut, From a Room: Volume 1. The first of a two-part project, Volume 1 might not really do anything new with the genre, but does manage to create an endlessly enjoyable album where sounds and emotion change from song to song. While this could easily rob the album of its cohesive nature, Stapleton is more than smart enough to understand basic sequencing. The somber ballad “Either Way” flows effortlessly into the harder-edged yet mournful “I Was Wrong” which in turn fades into the western-esque and strangely uptempo “Without Your Love.” None of these songs sound quite like the others, and yet each builds into the next with such subtlety and style that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were composed at the same time they were sequenced, just to be sure everything would work out.

Stapleton seems to have crafted a varied, blissfully short, and entertaining country album without breaking a sweat. Fusing roots rock, country, bluegrass, and a healthy dose of blues, we now have a unpredictable but undeniably smooth dose of southern music that can’t be passed up thanks both to its length and strong musicianship. This is Stapleton confronting the banality of country music of both the present and past. This is Stapleton saying, “No wait, I can do better.”



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user ratings (87)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Short review for a short album, probably more that could be said but I didn't think it was



Review for volume 2 coming next week when it drops

BlackwaterPork
November 27th 2017


4390 Comments


Ay nice write up neekatwat, pos

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Bitchwater (:

BlackwaterPork
November 27th 2017


4390 Comments


Well played...

kris.
November 27th 2017


15505 Comments


i still need to check this out, traveller was the jam

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Def enjoy this more just as a stylistic preference, but I honestly think it's objectively the better of the two

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2017


3454 Comments


Great writeup as usual, Neeka. I know you'll get me into country eventually.

theBoneyKing
November 27th 2017


19560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice one neeka, album is a jam of course.

And @Blush, not if I can get to you first ;-P

Sunnyvale
November 27th 2017


1791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super strange, revisiting this album for the first time in months, and I go to the homepage and here is this review. Great review, and great album. Even better than I remember it.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2017


3454 Comments


@Boney ;*

someguest
November 28th 2017


29985 Comments


someone wandered far from the CMT forums

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha there you go Sunny!

@Blush yknow, I'm not even that into country, mostly country-ish folk but it's a great gateway (; And thanks!

LosProfetas
November 28th 2017


74 Comments


I enjoyed Traveller more than this, but it still has great stuff on it. Up to No Good Livin' is a fantastic song.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What did you like about Traveller more than this?

theBoneyKing
November 28th 2017


19560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Traveler had better highlights imo but this is more consistent. Hoping Volume 2 is on par as well.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Disagree but yknow

Def pumped for Vol 2, excited to review that as well

EyesWideShut
November 28th 2017


5355 Comments


Vol. 2 is great.. I only wish Chris just released it as one album.

ianblxdsoe
November 29th 2017


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice shit neeka, was seeing if anyone would give this a review or if i had to B) chris is fuckin stellar comparatively

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2017


20452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha sorry if I stole your thunder Ian, I'd love to see a review from you for it sometime (:

theBoneyKing
December 14th 2017


19560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

What's everyone making of Volume 2?



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