Chris Stapleton has done it again with yet another ‘Staple.’ From his “Traveller” album in 2015 up until his 2020 “Starting Over,” Stapleton seemingly always comes through with country classics. His fifth solo album “Higher” is no different. The album features the perfect combination of soulful vocals with heartfelt lyrics that strike an emotional chord.
One of Stapleton’s singles released prior to the full album, “White Horse” is an exciting new sound from the country star. The strong and intense introduction with a heavy build up leads into a strong showcase of Stapleton’s vocal talent. The intense melody and vocals paired with the lyrics is what makes this song. As Stapleton’s lyrics talk about having a runner’s heart, you feel the agony of his words and the internal conflict within him that is taking over his love life. This song is a new sound for Stapleton, and one I certainly hope to hear from him again.
“Higher” is another song which showcases Stapleton’s musical range and vocal talent– but this time with a much more bluesy touch. The lyrics are simple yet sweet, putting emphasis on the bluegrass-sounding guitar. The combination of the simple, soft, but heartfelt instrumentals as well as Stapleton’s vocals makes this piece a very peaceful song.
“The Day I Die”
My favorite song on the album, “The Day I Die” is both moving and heartbreaking all at once. The simple acoustic sounds paired with the soulful vocals, much like most of Stapleton’s music, is beautiful. The lyrics, though, are what really make this song so special. Stapleton sings, “When my heart stops breaking, when my eyes won’t cry, when there’s a day I can live without you baby, it’ll be the day I die.” Although the lyrics are direct and to the point, there is a stunning agony that can be felt in each line. This is everything Chris Stapleton has done in his career wrapped into one song.
Statpleton’s “The Bottom” is another strong showcase of his musical talent, with emphasis on his songwriting abilities. The chorus’s crescendo holds the song’s most powerful lyrics, saying “And the left hand lights what the right hand holds, the smoke can‘t hide what the heart regrets. ‘Cause the heart holds the memory, and the memory holds the past, and the past holds the woman at the bottom of the glass.” This build up stirs up the emotions in Stapleton’s words, making it one of the most touching pieces on the album.
After four solo albums prior to “Higher,” Chris Stapleton has seemingly found his sound. If he wasn’t already owning the country music game before, he certainly is now. His combination of true country and blues paired with his soulful voice is what brings his songs to life. “Higher” simply proves Stapleton is at the top of the country music game, and he is here to stay.