As a follow-up to his previously released From A Room: Volume 1, Chris Stapleton is back with his third studio album, From A Room: Volume 2. The Kentucky-born singer-songwriter previously has written for artists ranging from Adele to George Strait, but debuted his solo career with Traveller in 2015.
From A Room: Volume 2 captures stories of heartbreak, old family farms and finding your way through life. The narrative quality of the lyrics gives a wholesome aspect to the songs, making it seem as if Stapleton is telling a story. Alongside the lyrics, there’s Stapleton’s raspy, twangy voice accompanied by the soft backing vocals of his wife, Morgane Stapleton. The two juxtapose themselves perfectly and create a perfectly executed result.
A common thread throughout all of Stapleton’s albums is that each track can stand alone as a great song. There’s no dull moments or lulls throughout From A Room: Volume 2, and Stapleton brings something new to the table with each track. “Drunkard’s Prayer,” a song that illustrates the troubles of an alcoholic, gives into the introspective feature of many of Stapleton’s songs. Another song that encompasses this concept of introspection is “Tryin’ To Untangle My Mind,” where Stapleton chronicles the trials of trying to figure out one’s life.
Stapleton’s musicianship and voice blend and compliment multiple genres. There are aspects of country, folk, blues, rock and even some soul. One could find influences of country greats such as Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, but could also spot influences from contemporaries such as Gary Clark Jr. and Sturgill Simpson.
A unique feature that sets Stapleton apart from many popular country artists is that he doesn’t try to breach that line between country and pop. He sticks to the roots of country, taking pride in what the music once was. Stapleton doesn’t need any feature from Nelly or some hip-hop beat backing the track to attract listeners. The singer-songwriter showcases guitar as the greats of classic country have, and he relies on his gravelly, emotion-filled voice to carry the song — and it works.
Stapleton has created a nine-track album that takes the listener through multiple narratives, while also evoking a sense of emotion that eloquently accompanies Stapleton’s sweet vocals. Being that Stapleton has received awards for his past two albums, it would be no surprise to anyone if he received more for From A Room: Volume 2.