Chris Stapleton: ‘Starting Over’ – Album Review
Chris Stapleton’s new album, Starting Over is available now, November 12th, on all streaming platforms. With eleven songs written by Stapleton and his longtime friends, take a look below as we give our first impression of the album.
Chris Stapleton manages to isolate the exact emotions felt by his listeners while providing comfort in being fully seen by someone and solace that others feel similar. Starting Over captures the timeliness of our current state and simultaneously creates a timeless relic of the truth of our existence. Written beginning in February right before the shutdown, these words surpass the current processing of our situations and in hindsight will epitomize our sentiments.
“Starting Over” kicks off the album with a lighthearted take on beginning anew, much like what many of us had to do recently in all aspects of our life. Whether meant as motivation or just the soundtrack to a new dawn, it initiated the fresh start tone of the album. Stapleton recorded this album back in Nashville, surrounded by old friends and new collaborators, providing the optimal place for a reflection of a journey. The album features his wife, Morgane Stapleton, on background vocals and tambourine, creating an elevated emotional dynamic for the tracks.
“Cold”, one of Stapleton’s early releases, is one of the most iconic songs of the year, in lyrics, tone, and vocalization. Billboard called in “earth-shattering…this is the finest rip-your-heart-out song you’ll hear all day…or any day.” The next few tracks tell happy stories, with a cover of John Fogerty’s “Joy of My Life”, and a tale of picking up a puppy in “Maggie’s Song.” “Whiskey Sunrise” seems to combine the straight tone of some of his iconic songs with the rock feel of some of his newer creations resulting in a masterpiece.
“Old Friends” oscillates between a quiet monologue and a legato comforting chorus, praising the stability and reliability of the people who have always been there for you. “Watch You Burn” takes a sharp contrast, turning anger to those who have hurt others, ensuring they’ll get their turn, and that the Devil will watch them burn.
The heart of country music, Nashville, is the item of homage paid in the closing track, “Nashville, TN.” Though it tells the story of a Stapleton’s relationship to the city, it reflects the growth that anyone has with a place or a time in their life. Whatever it taught you was yours to learn and take with you when you leave, and even though a part of you will still be there, it won’t take what’s left as you say goodbye to those memories and start a new chapter.
Starting Over runs the gamut, commencing with the excitement and possibility of starting over, through all the rough patches that come, and finalizing with the acceptance of the journey. Whether meant as the ultimate metaphor for the acceptance of what is in this and every season in our lives or not, Stapleton continues to exceptionally seize the moment and the ceaseless joys and perils of what it means to live a life.
Stapleton’s “All-American Road Show” tour is planned to resume next year, with very special guests, and a special concert in his home state of Kentucky, benefiting the Blue Grass Community Foundation, focusing on music and arts education.
1. “Starting Over”
3. “Whiskey Sunrise”
4. “Old Friends”
5. “Nashville, TN”
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Starting Over is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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