Chris Stapleton
From A Room: Volume 2


3.5
great

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (82 Reviews)
December 20th, 2017 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An adept if not quite as cohesive follow up to the excellent first volume.

The biggest problem with reviewing a dual release is the inherent desire to compare the two said albums, especially in discussion of the latter. Expectations have already been set up, and having a disappointing follow-up is always worse than a weaker original in a fan’s eyes. And so, the main question to address here is: Does Volume 2 live up to Volume 1?

Well, yes and no.

Stapleton seems to be hitting lows in a different way than he has before. He reaches a noticeable point of fault with the unconvincing “woe is me” stance on the bluesy stomp of the otherwise enjoyable “Tryin’ to Untangle My Mind.” It’s the quieter moments in which Stapleton really shines, however. While he may dabble in grimy southern rock to an excellent extent on “Hard Livin’,” the true heart of the album lives deep in his potent lyricism and understated but affecting vocal performance. As with all men, he’s far more relatable and interesting in his vulnerability and desperation. Perhaps this is in which his success lies: he doesn’t always find himself in forced braggadocio like his country-pop contemporaries, and when he does he’s able to use the surprise and power of the contrasting personalities to his advantage. The rockers aren’t quite as convincing as they were on Volume 1, but the softer moments strengthen the louder, and vice versa; such is the secret Stapleton has perfected.

That being said, the flow here doesn’t work as well as predecessor. The songs themselves may sometimes be deeper and more exciting here than on Volume 1, but they just aren’t as cohesive, such as when “A Simple Song”’s bittersweet pause is interrupted by an awkward crunch leading into “Midnight Train to Memphis.” While I commented previously on how the first volume was able to blend it’s mish-mash of genres into a ridiculously smooth experience, Volume 2 feels like a much more cobbled together collection. It honestly might be the stronger of the two musically and emotionally, but other forces stop it from sounding like it most of the time.

Both volumes of From a Room are great for different reasons, and while I may have given this a slightly lower score, it’s only weaker than Volume 1 in a minimal sense. If you’re looking for great country, folk, or rock songs, or you simply enjoyed Volume 1, check this out immediately. In many ways, this stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its predecessor, not overshadowing nor being overshadowed by it.

And that’s just how it should be.



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user ratings (79)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2017


25686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 for 2 fammmm

Pho3nix
December 20th 2017


1570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

+1



I actually downed this from a 3.5 just recently, vol. 1 is so much better. This feels like the outtakes almost

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2017


25686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I could get behind that outlook, still really enjoyed this one a lot

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2017


9756 Comments


"As with all men, he’s far more relatable and interesting in his vulnerability and desperation." Not sure I get what you're getting at with this line. The piece also arguably spends too much time comparing this release to Vol 1 rather than really focusing in on what this record actually sounds like. Otherwise though it's top notch work mate, keep on keeping on with these

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2017


20830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

chris staplesack

EyesWideShut
December 21st 2017


5889 Comments


I jam both versions together and find it really enjoyable, I do think Vol.1 is a little stronger tho..

I would love for him to take a more loose Allman Brothers jam vibe for his next album..

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2017


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. After a few listens, I actually think Volume 2 might be marginally better than Volume 1, but both are great.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 21st 2017


25686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Asleep you may be right, I suppose the review itself is more of a sequel to my Volume 1 review and probably reads better together than apart, but that's definitely a good point, thanks!

@Sunny at first I actually preferred this but it grew off of me a bit

bigguytoo9
December 22nd 2017


1396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I bought both Volumes. Quite enjoy his music.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 22nd 2017


25686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I could see myself buying them sometime for sure, be great driving music I'm sure

EyesWideShut
December 22nd 2017


5889 Comments


Chris's beard and hair game is on point too

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2019


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Simple Song is sooooo good. Such a perfect slice of life song.

bigweinerdon
June 16th 2023


2641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hard Livin absolutely slaps



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