AOTY 2020

Starting Over

Chris Stapleton - Starting Over
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2020 Ratings: #319 / 770
User Score
Based on 169 ratings
2020 Ratings: #98
Liked by 10 people
November 13, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mercury Nasvhille / Label
Country / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Independent
As ever, Stapleton's songwriting is economical, and he tackles favoured themes with a weathered sensitivity; production from his long-time collaborator Dave Cobb, another of Nashville’s finest, is never over-embellished. Even among the country music gems already released this year, Stapleton’s feels like a small miracle.
80
Uncut

Subversive country star ranges far and wide on rocking, soulful third.

80
AllMusic

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.

80
The Needle Drop
Chris Stapleton returns with a clean slate of sorts and the year's best country album.
78
Spectrum Culture

Starting Over may be a bit of a misnomer ... but it nonetheless is another solid entry in what is proving to be an increasingly impressive catalog from an artist as comfortable with his own material as that of his idols.

70
Rolling Stone

Unlike his authenticity-branded contemporary Sturgill Simpson, Stapleton has never appeared tortured by the idea that he represents some sort of bygone country-rock ideal, and his fourth album, Starting Over, feels similarly at home trying whatever comes naturally.

60
Slant Magazine
The album’s unvarnished style generally works, but there’s nowhere to hide when the singer drifts into the saccharine.
JacksonLerner
70
Chris stapleton’s fourth album, “Starting Over”, is intelligently written and executed. performed with soul and talent, he captures the spotlight and shares it with his collaborators.

“cold”, imo, is the best song on the album. it’s a ballad in which stapleton tells of his love’s absence in his wavering baritone. the way stapleton vocalizes “cut me”: his voice cuts through with unrelenting effectiveness. Stapleton grabs and thrashes ... read more
AndreVital
88
Aw man!

I was writing my review for this album when I saw that Fantano just gave it a 8. I saw nobody paying attention to this release and thought I'd be wavy af for liking this shit, now it's gonna seem like I'm copying Fantano.

Anyway, yeah. Chris just displays an insane songwriting ability. Chris is almost single-handedly making country artful again. Whereas Sturgill Simpson been making Country cool and stylish. Chris Stapelton is putting his heart and soul into these songs, making these ... read more
MasterCrackfox
83
I gained a greater appreciation for Chris Stapleton earlier this year when we covered him for the podcast (episode Ludacris Stapleton, yes I know we're hilarious). His style of country music hits much harder than the typical modern affair, and Starting Over hits all those notes exceptionally well once again for one of the best the genre has to offer all year.

The reason Chris Stapleton resonates so well on Starting Over is because Stapleton has a clear understanding of what influences have ... read more
nicoperagine
55
Anthony Fantano severely overshot this one. It may be a better country record purely for its emotional factors, and gratifying vocal moments, but it still stays primitively in its own lane and keeps a pretty bland runtime. Standout tracks are ones that Chris belts on, "Cold" and "Whiskey Sunrise."
MusicGod
81
i hate country. i like this.
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Track List

  1. Starting Over
  2. Devil Always Made Me Think Twice
  3. Cold
  4. When I'm With You
  5. Arkansas
  6. Joy of My Life
  7. Hillbilly Blood
  8. Maggie's Song
  9. Whiskey Sunrise
  10. Worry B Gone
  11. Old Friends
  12. Watch You Burn
  13. You Should Probably Leave
  14. Nashville, TN
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Added on: August 28, 2020