From A Room: Volume 2 is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, released on December 1, 2017 through Mercury Nashville. 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.
Stapleton released From A Room: Volume 1 in May 2017, and confirmed the release of Volume 2 for later that year. 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. 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.
Music and themes
"We recorded that song , 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.
A Kentucky.com music journalist stated traditional country and Southern soul "play into the record equally." For a Rolling Stone reviewer the Americana album comprises country, folk, blues, Southern rock and soul. 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. The Southern rock track "Hard Livin'" comprises phase-shifted guitar riff, with a Rolling Stone writer comparing it to Traveller's "Nobody to Blame".
Featuring celtic-sounding verses, the ballad "Scarecrow in the Garden" tells the story of a 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. 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. "Nobody's Lonely Tonight" is a slow soul ballad about looking for some comfort after giving up on love. "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. 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. Delivered alone, "Drunkard's Prayer" finds the singer playing the part of a broken, lonely man who wants to change and seeks for forgiveness. The cover of the song "Friendship" is a country soul track, that differs from the original for its R&B influences, "deeper" groves and guitar tremolo.
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