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Country - To be released August 20, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - To be released August 6, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released July 9, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released July 9, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released May 21, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released May 14, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released May 14, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released May 14, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released May 14, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released April 30, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released April 30, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released March 26, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released March 26, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 20, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 6, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 6, 2021 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released December 18, 2020 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released November 13, 2020 | Mercury Nashville

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Hailed for songwriting skill and an unironic embrace of outlaw country, Chris Stapleton, on his fourth album, puts his vocal versatility on impressive display. Supported by a moody, shadowy string section, he unfurls a torch-singer side on "Cold," a heartbreaker that lives up to its name in feel and lyrics—"Why you got to be so cold/ Why you got to go and cut me like a knife/ Put our love on ice." The lowdown-and-dirty guitar of "Whiskey Sunrise" is matched for power by a wailing blues delivery from Stapleton. And he cuts loose with a Southern-rock howl on the Tom Petty-esque swamp stomp "Devil Always Made Me Think Twice." An early Petty influence is alive and present across Starting Over, with Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench guesting on guitar and Hammond B3, respectively. Stapleton co-wrote the simmer-to-fury "Watch You Burn" with Campbell, and the guitarist's signature style is front-and-center on "Arkansas," a heavy Southern-rock blues burner celebrating the underrated beauty of the Ozarks. The ghost of Guy Clark also blesses the sessions, as Stapleton covers a back-to-back shot of the songwriter's "Worry B Gone" and "Old Friends" and former with a velocity that makes Willie Nelson's gentle version sound cute. (A flow-like-the-creek cover of John Fogerty's "Joy of My Life" is more faithful.) As on previous releases, Stapleton's wife and collaborator Morgane Stapleton lends angelic vocal harmonies, sweetening the sobering, Kristofferson-sounding ballad "When I'm With You," which find her husband taking stock of middle age and where it goes from there: "I'm 40 years old/ And it looks like the end of the rainbow ain't no pot of gold." She also shows up on that song's spiritual flip side and the album's title track, an optimistic, stripped-down guitar jangle: "I can be your lucky penny/ You can be my four-leaf clover.” Indeed, for all his tough-guy appearance, there's always been a tender side to Stapleton, and he shows every bit of it on "Maggie's Song," an absolute tearjerker about a found dog's life and death that's teed up and ready for a pickup truck commercial. (Nothing wrong with that.) And lest anyone ever doubt his outlaw tendencies, Stapleton ends on an absolutely gorgeous kiss-off to the country capital: "So long Nashville, Tennessee/ You can't have what's left of me." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Country - Released November 13, 2020 | Mercury Nashville

As an album title, Starting Over can't help but carry connotations of an artistic rebirth, but three or four albums into his solo stardom, Chris Stapleton is in no position to rip it up and start again. Stapleton found his footing with 2015's Traveller and he's spent the years since digging deeper into his burnished groove, tying the binds between classic country, classic rock, and classic soul even tighter. A new beginning isn't in the cards for a singer/songwriter who has styled himself as an old-fashioned troubadour, an outlaw with a heart of gold singing sweet love songs as often as he kicks up dust. He's a traveler on a long road, not quite forging into undiscovered country as much as finding fresh routes through familiar terrain. Working once again with producer Dave Cobb, Stapleton underscores rootsy continuity not just with his own catalog, but with his idols. He takes the time to salute the pioneers who came before him by covering two Guy Clark songs here ("Worry B Gone," "Old Friends"), along with a deep John Fogerty solo cut that pairs quite nicely with the swampy choogle of the original "Devil Always Made Me Think Twice." The biggest nod to the past arrives through a couple of key members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers joining the fold: Benmont Tench is on eight of the album's 14 songs, while Mike Campbell co-wrote two of the record's highlights, the funky vamp "Watch You Burn" and the rampaging "Arkansas." The former Heartbreakers are excellent foils for Stapleton and they also emphasize that he's a bit like Petty in how he revives sounds of the past for the present and in how he turns out reliably sturdy albums. Stapleton could use a bit of Petty's flair -- there's not a lot of humor here, nor are there any flirtations with modern sounds -- but his straight-ahead style nevertheless satisfies on Starting Over. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Ambient/New Age - Released October 23, 2020 | Mercury Nashville

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  • Chris Stapleton: Starting Over
    Chris Stapleton: Starting Over Hailed for songwriting skill and an unironic embrace of outlaw country, Chris Stapleton, on his fourth album, puts his vocal versatility on impressive display.