This guy’s music is wonderful
We live in an age where country music has gone very downhill, gradually reduced to two options: the slick, polished country pop of Carrie Underwood (who I dislike less and less the more I hear her but nonetheless isn’t very country), Blake Shelton, Faith Hill, Gabby Barrett, Sam Hunt, etc.; or the mentally challenged, singleminded bro country of Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Chris Young, etc. (how many times are you gonna praise ice cold beers, Chevys and girls in taiht geens?). Then you have Chris Stapleton, a man who has huge amounts of real country in his music, blended with blues and southern rock for good measure. And a voice that isn’t hokey country voice with hokey accent, but a soulful one that can belt it out and softly croon all at once. The lyrics he writes are introspective—sometimes funny and sometimes sad, sometimes positive and sometimes negative—and also have highwayman tendencies in the vein of past country stars; you won’t catch Chris Stapleton singing about tight jeans and being psychotically obsessed with cold beers. His material is firmly rooted in older country whose lyrical range was bigger and more meaningful, as well as tougher. You Should Probably Leave sounds like it belongs to the 20th Century, not the 21st. Same goes for most of his stuff, and that’s a good thing. Stapleton stands out and rejuvenates country with his traditionalist approach, and he is easily the best country artist in the big leagues right now. He obviously knows and reveres the old music and the others, especially the gross bro country champs, should take the time to learn all about it and submit to it. Stapleton’s albums are great and so is he, he’s one of an almost nonexistent few who are keeping country alive and well. This metalhead who rather likes some old country can get behind that quite happily.