50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Harry Styles, Roger Waters and more

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Chris Stapleton: 'From a Room: Volume 1'
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Chris Stapleton: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’9/50

Chris Stapleton: 'From a Room: Volume 1'

We Say: He may appear to be a thick-bearded Seventies outlaw-country throwback, but make no mistake: Chris Stapleton is a soul singer, with a preternaturally creaky voice that can turn wizened or brawny, full of pained howls and distended vowels. ... Arrangements – for guitar, bass and drums, with touches of steel guitar and harmonica – are spare and lean. Songs smolder rather than blaze, amble instead of bolt, and generally keep the volume reined in. Even "Second One to Know," a fierce rocker with rhythm guitar that attacks like John Henry's hammer, still leaves space for Stapleton's vocals to match it, blow for blow.

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