'Starting Over' Review: Chris Stapleton's new album is a warm country embrace and will leave you charmed

Stapleton's new studio LP also features three covers of songs like John Fogerty's 'Joy Of My Life' and Guy Clark's 'Worry B Gone' and 'Old Friends'

                            'Starting Over' Review: Chris Stapleton's new album is a warm country embrace and will leave you charmed
Chris Stapleton (Press handout)

Country star Chris Stapleton is kicking off a new era and returning to music after three years with a brand-new studio album. Titled 'Starting Over', the LP is releasing just around the corner on Friday, November 13 and follows 2017's platinum-certified 'From A Room: Volume 2'.

The album is written by Stapleton and Mike Henderson and recorded in Nashville's historic RCA Studio A (with additional work done at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio), and receives contributions from longtime friends and new collaborators. Produced by Dave Cobb (who also helms the acoustic guitar), 'Starting Over' features his beloved wife, Morgane Stapleton (vocals, tambourine), longtime bandmates J.T. Cure (bass) and Derek Mixon (drums). Special guests include legendary musicians Mike Campbell (electric guitar), Benmont Tench (Hammond B3 organ) and Paul Franklin (pedal steel) as well as the All Voices Choir who are featured on 'Watch You Burn', written by Stapleton and Campbell.

Hitting play on just the first three tracks, 'Starting Over' immediately strikes emotive and as an earnest album iteration. Every track feels like utmost dedication has been put in to make one stand out from the other and carry its own thematic power. The album's opener and title track begins in a warm country embrace with acoustic guitaring that gives in to reverie and gentle sweeping of brush sticks on hi-hats as Stapleton sings "Well the road rolls out like a welcome mat. To a better place than the one, we're at. And ain't got no kind of plan. But I've had all of this town I can stand." Check out the official music video below.


The following track 'Devil Always Made Me Think Twice' kicks into a harder, anthemic country tone with slick and sultry guitar licks underlined by a snappy beat. Recording quality is crisp, the instruments play aptly to each other's alterations, and Stapleton's vocals belt out to give the perfect voice to an already rich and fire track.

Move on to the melancholic 'Cold', and you'll find a more soulful blues production. The song opens in balladic piano before the song swells and pierces as strings yearn to the sway of the rhythm. Stapleton lets out a near-shout with the chorus, "Oh... Why you got to be so cold. Why you got to go and cut me like a knife. And put our love on ice. Oh... Girl you know you let this hole. Right here in the middle of my soul. Oh... why you got to be so cold."

'Starting Over' also features three covers. In the cover for John Fogerty's 'Joy Of My Life', Stapleton honors the tempo and spirit of the banjo-centered original but coats in textures of acoustic guitar, additional brush strokes on the drums, and smoother modern recording quality. Similar can be said for Stapleton's cover renditions of Guy Clark's 'Old Friends', but Clark's 'Worry B Gone' is now lifted to a louder, gritty version to rock out to at a country club party over the subtle swag of the original.

For news on Stapleton's concert plans, the 'All-American Road Show' tour is planned to resume next year. Highlights include headline shows at Washington State's Gorge Amphitheatre, Chicago's Wrigley Field, New York's Madison Square Garden and 'A Concert for Kentucky', which is a special performance benefitting his newly created Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund to be held at University of Kentucky's Kroger Field on April 24. 

We're loving every track of 'Starting Over' and if you're a fan of all things country music, Stapleton's new album is one not to be missed. 

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.