Midnight Train to Memphis
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Midnight Train to Memphis
From A Room: Volume 2
Chris-stapleton-from-a-room-volume-2.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1, 2017 (2017-12-01)
StudioRCA Studio A in Nashville
Genre
Length32:19
LabelMercury Nashville
Producer
Chris Stapleton chronology
From A Room: Volume 1
(2017)
From A Room: Volume 2
(2017)
Singles from From A Room: Volume 2
  1. "Millionaire"
    Released: April 23, 2018[1]

From A Room: Volume 2 is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, released on December 1, 2017, through Mercury Nashville.[2] Produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton, the album comprises a range of music styles, including country, Southern rock and Southern soul. Commercially, it debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. It received a nomination for Best Country Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, with the single "Millionaire" being nominated for Best Country Solo Performance.[3]

Background

Stapleton released From A Room: Volume 1 in May 2017, and confirmed the release of Volume 2 for later that year.[4] Like its predecessor, the album takes its name from Nashville's RCA Studio A, where the recording sessions took place. The album tracks "Tryin' to Untangle My Mind", "Hard Livin'" and "Midnight Train to Memphis" have been featured in his All-American Road Show Tour prior to the release. The latter song was previously recorded by his former band The SteelDrivers. The album opens with a cover of Kevin Welch's "Millionaire", and closes with a cover of Homer Banks and Lester Snell's "Friendship," previously recorded by Pops Staples.[5] The tracks "Millionaire", "Scarecrow in the Garden" and "Tryin' to Untangle My Mind" were released as a promotional singles with the album preorder on October 20, November 4 and 17, respectively.[6][7][8]

Music and themes

"We recorded that song [while in The SteelDrivers], but I've always continued to play that song even when I'm not in that band, so it got time to be recorded again like, "Listen, I still play this song every night. We should record it." One's got a banjo on it, and the other one's got a little Bo Diddley drums underneath it. It's still the same song at its core, it's just a song I've always loved."

--Stapleton in an interview with NPR on re-recording "Midnight Train to Memphis" for the album.[9]

A Kentucky.com music journalist stated traditional country and Southern soul "play into the record equally."[10] For a Rolling Stone reviewer the Americana album comprises country, folk, blues, Southern rock and soul.[11] The opening track "Millionaire" is a mid-tempo soul-influenced heartland rock ballad driven by acoustic guitar, lyrically about "spare love" and appreciating relationship closeness over material wealth, with his wife and music collaborator Morgane on background vocals.[6][12][13] The Southern rock track "Hard Livin'" comprises phase-shifted guitar riff, with a Rolling Stone writer comparing it to Travellers "Nobody to Blame".[13]

Featuring Celtic-sounding verses, the ballad "Scarecrow in the Garden" tells the story of an heir of a West Virginia farm, who laments bad times not allowing him to enjoy the same prosperity of his ancestors, an immigrant family from Northern Ireland.[7][13] The narrator in the bluesy rock and traditional country song "Tryin' to Untangle My Mind" confesses his past habits of drinking whiskey, dating women and spending all his little money.[8] "Nobody's Lonely Tonight" is a slow soul ballad about looking for some comfort after giving up on love.[13][14] "A Simple Song" was written with Darrell Hayes, Stapleton's father-in-law, where the narrator is heartened by his family's presence while dealing with quotidian struggle.[14] Lyrically, "Midnight Train to Memphis" is about a person that gets to listen to the train's rumbling sound every day of his time in prison.[13] Delivered alone, "Drunkard's Prayer" finds the singer playing the part of a broken, lonely man who wants to change and seeks for forgiveness.[14] The cover of the song "Friendship" is a country soul track,[12] that differs from the original for its R&B influences, "deeper" groves and guitar tremolo.[10][13]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[16]
The A.V. ClubA-[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[18]
Las Vegas Weekly3.5/5 stars[19]
Pitchfork7.3/10[20]
PopMatters8/10[21]
Uncut7/10[15]

From A Room: Volume 2 received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 80 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on nine reviews.[15]

Writing for NPR, Jewly Hight noted Stapleton "chose several songs that dwell on, even savor, meaningful attachments", listing as examples "Millionaire", "A Simple Song", "Friendship" and "Scarecrow in the Garden". Compared to Volume 1, Hight opined that its emotional center "lies elsewhere." She concluded saying "folding these songs into his repertoire lends greater emotional weight to his entire body of work. Wise and sensitive storyteller that he is, he knows that deprivation and loss are felt the most deeply when it's clear what's at stake."[12] Robert Crawford of Rolling Stone described it as "lean and live-sounding" while "Stapleton's voice remains as titanic ever, but on these nine tracks, he packs an equally sized punch as both picker and bandleader."[13] Also from the music magazine, Will Hermes compared it to Volume 1 and opined, "the band's the same but leaner, stripped to guitars, bass, drums and Stapleton's mighty voice, with harmonies by his wife, Morgane, smartly moved up in the mix. Again, the songs feel like unearthed classics."[18]

Reviewers from The A.V. Club opined "Stapleton's gravelly vocals sell his own openly emotive songs like no one else could," adding that he "runs the gamut of emotions and genres, traveling from the hard-rocking rumination on the difficulties of "Hard Livin'" to the minimalist blues of "Nobody's Lonely Tonight."[17] Writing for Variety, Chris Willman called it the second-best country album of the year, only behind Stapleton's own Volume 1.[22] Terence Cawley in The Boston Globe said the songs were "expertly crafted."[23] Mike Davies in Folk Radio UK called "Scarecrow In The Garden" the best song in the album, followed by "Drunkard's Prayer".[24]Stephen M. Deusner from Pitchfork noted Volume 2 "leavens its heavier moments with songs that celebrate the simple joys of love and marriage and family, without lapsing into sentimentality."[20] For Kentucky.com, Walter Tunis summarized his review writing "Stapleton's vivid, unvarnished musical portraits are already striking in ways that distinguish him from pretty much any of his country contemporaries."[10] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said it is "a collection of moments, just like Vol. 1, but that's the charm of Vol. 2," and opined that without "crafting a major statement" the songs "work on their own terms."[16]

Accolades

Publication List Rank Ref.
Entertainment Weekly The 25 Best Albums of 2017
9*
The San Diego Union-Tribune The Best Albums of 2017
5*
Stereogum The 10 Best Country Albums of 2017
6*
Uproxx The Best Albums of 2017
39
Variety The 20 Best Albums of 2017
no order*
Vinyl Me, Please The 30 Best Albums of 2017
29*

*Along with From A Room: Volume 1

Commercial performance

From A Room: Volume 2 debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 125,000 album-equivalent units, of which 116,000 were in pure album sales. With Volume 1, which also opened at number 2, Stapleton is the first country act to score two top-two charting albums in a calendar year on the Billboard 200 since Luke Bryan in 2013.[31] On the charts dated February 10, 2018, Traveller, From A Room: Volume 1, and Volume 2 held the top-three spots on Top Country Albums, making Stapleton the third artist ever to do so, the others being Garth Brooks in 1992 and Charlie Rich in 1974.[32] It was certified Gold by the Gold in the US on June 8, 2017, and Platinum on April 26, 2018.[33] It has sold 541,200 copies domestically as of April 2019.[34]

Awards

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2018 Country Music Association Awards Album of the Year Nominated [35]
SESAC Nashville Music Awards Americana Awards Won [36]
2019 Grammy Awards Best Country Album Nominated [3]

Track listing

Track listing adapted from the iTunes Store.[37]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Millionaire"Kevin Welch3:30
2."Hard Livin'"
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Kendell Marvel
2:59
3."Scarecrow in the Garden"
  • Stapleton
  • Brice Long
  • Matt Fleener
  • Salvatore Polimeni
3:20
4."Nobody's Lonely Tonight"
3:26
5."Tryin' to Untangle My Mind"
  • Stapleton
  • Jaron Boyer
  • Marvel
3:14
6."A Simple Song"
  • Stapleton
  • Darrell Hayes
3:36
7."Midnight Train to Memphis"
  • Stapleton
  • Henderson
3:42
8."Drunkard's Prayer"
  • Stapleton
  • Jameson Clark
4:07
9."Friendship"
4:25
Total length:32:19

Personnel

Credits for From A Room: Volume 2 adapted from AllMusic.[38]

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[33] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger / 541,200[34]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history

List of release dates, showing region, edition, formats, label, and reference
Region Date Edition(s) Format(s) Label Ref.
Various December 1, 2017 Standard Mercury Nashville [47]
United States Vinyl [48]
United Kingdom December 22, 2017 Decca [49]

References

  1. ^ "Country > Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on April 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Watts, Cindy (October 14, 2017). "Chris Stapleton Announces Next Album in Nashville". The Tenneseean. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b "2019 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Nominations List". The Recording Academy. December 7, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Watts, Cindy (April 5, 2017). "Chris Stapleton reveals 2 new albums in 2017". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Gage, Jeff (October 16, 2017). "Chris Stapleton Details New Album 'From A Room: Volume 2'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gage, Jeff (October 20, 2017). "Hear Chris Stapleton's Soulful New Song 'Millionaire'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ a b Gage, Jeff (November 3, 2017). "Hear Chris Stapleton's Haunting New Song 'Scarecrow in the Garden'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ a b Betts, Stephen L. (November 17, 2017). "Hear Chris Stapleton's Bluesy New Song 'Tryin' to Untangle My Mind'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Shapiro, Ari (December 1, 2017). "Chris Stapleton Dives Into His Archives For 'From A Room: Volume 2'". NPR. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Tunis, Walter (November 27, 2017). "Did Chris Stapleton make two brilliant albums in 2017? 'Vol. 2' is out Friday". Kentucky.com. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "10 New Albums to Stream Now: U2, Neil Young and More Editors' Picks". Rolling Stone. December 1, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Hight, Jewly (November 23, 2017). "First Listen: Chris Stapleton, 'From A Room: Volume 2'". NPR. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Crawford, Robert (November 30, 2017). "Chris Stapleton's 'From A Room: Volume 2': Track-by-Track Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Mooney, Thomas (December 1, 2017). "Chris Stapleton's 'From A Room: Volume 2': Essential Track-By-Track Guide". Wide Open Country. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ a b c "Reviews and Tracks from From A Room: Volume 2 by Chris Stapleton". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (December 1, 2017). "AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ a b Modell, Josh; Ihnat, Gwen; Garner, Marty Sartini (December 1, 2017). "Here are 3 new albums you should know about this week". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ a b Hermes, Will (December 1, 2017). "Review: Chris Stapleton, One of Country's Hottest Names, Makes It a Double". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ Bell, Josh (December 7, 2017). "Chris Stapleton's 'From a Room: Volume 2' Plays Like A Solid Odds And Sods". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ a b Deusner, Stephen M. (December 10, 2017). "Chris Stapleton From A Room: Volume 2". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ Thiessen, Christopher (December 15, 2017). "Chris Stapleton: From A Room, Vol. 2". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Willman, Chris (December 5, 2017). "Album Review: Chris Stapleton's 'From a Room: Volume 2'". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ Cawley, Terence (December 7, 2017). "A merry month of new music". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Davies, Mike (December 5, 2017). "Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 2". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "The 25 Best Albums of 2017". Entertainment Weekly. December 5, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ Varga, George (December 28, 2017). "From Tom Petty to Jay-Z and Metallica, 2017 a heady year for concerts, plus our albums of the year". San Diego Union-Tribun. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ "The 10 Best Country Albums Of 2017". Stereogum. December 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "All The Best Albums Of 2017, Ranked". Uproxx. December 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ "The 20 Best Albums of 2017". Variety. December 15, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ "The 30 Best Albums of 2017". Vinyl Me, Please. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (December 10, 2017). "U2 Scores Eighth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Songs of Experience'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ Asker, Jim (February 6, 2018). "Chris Stapleton Is First Artist to Hold Top Three Spots on Top Country Albums Chart Since Garth Brooks in 1992". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ a b "American album certifications - Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
  34. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt (October 9, 2019). "Top Country Catalog Album Sales: October 9, 2019". RoughStock. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ McCarthy, Kelly (August 28, 2018). "2018 CMA Awards nominations: See the full list". ABC News. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ Paulson, Dave (November 11, 2018). "SESAC Nashville Awards: Matt McGinn named Songwriter of the Year". Tennessean. Retrieved 2018.
  37. ^ "From A Room: Volume 2". iTunes (US). 2017.
  38. ^ "From A Room: Volume 2 - Chris Stapleton -- Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ "Australiancharts.com - Chris Stapleton - From A Room - Volume 2". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  40. ^ "Chris Stapleton Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Chris Stapleton - From A Room - Volume 2" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  42. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. December 11, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Chris Stapleton - From A Room - Volume 2". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  45. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  46. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 2018". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  47. ^ "From A Room: Volume 2". Amazon. 2017.
  48. ^ "From A Room: Volume 2 [LP]". Amazon. 2017.
  49. ^ "From A Room: Volume 2 [LP]". Amazon. 2017.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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