Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1
It took Chris Stapleton one helluva long time to become an overnight success, in fact his 2015 debut Traveler had been out for nearly six months before anyone really cared. And that was only when he blew the socks off the CMA Awards with an unforgettable duet with Justin Timberlake. Since then he's debuted at the O2 in London as part of 2016's Country To Country festival and been heralded as the saviour of country music. Still, the pressure's really on with the release of his second album as his surprise factor has worn off.
Good job then that From A Room Vol. One has plenty of great tunes to sustain his burgeoning reputation. It's not going to blow anyone away this time round and strays a little too close to safety - 'I Was Wrong' is almost a carbon copy of Traveler's 'Sometimes I Cry' - but it's still a whole heap better than most other Nashville output. The honky tonk rebellion of 'Them Stems', the ragged riff of 'Second One To Know', or the soft country soul of 'Broken Halos' are all from a man confident in his newfound status. Despite similarities to his monstrous debut the achievement of Stapleton's follow up shouldn't be diminished: this is bloody good stuff.