A Sailor's Guide to Earth

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A Sailor's Guide to Earth
Sturgill Simpson A Sailor's Guide To Earth.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 15, 2016 (2016-04-15)
StudioButcher Shoppe, Nashville
Genre
Length38:54
LabelAtlantic
ProducerSturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson chronology
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
(2014)
A Sailor's Guide to Earth
(2016)
Sound & Fury
(2019)
Singles from A Sailor's Guide to Earth
  1. "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"
    Released: March 3, 2016
  2. "In Bloom"
    Released: March 24, 2016
  3. "Keep It Between the Lines"
    Released: January 30, 2017

A Sailor's Guide to Earth is the third studio album by American country music singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson. It was announced on March 3, 2016, with the release of the single "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)". The album was released on April 15, 2016,[1] and won Best Country Album at the 59th Grammy Awards; it was also nominated for Album of the Year.[2]

Background[edit]

Prior to the album's announcement, Simpson stated in an interview with GQ that "what's next is already finished... Quite honestly, I need about six months at home with my family."[3] On March 3, 2016, Simpson released "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)" on YouTube and his website; the next day he released the nine-song track list of A Sailor's Guide to Earth.[4] A week later, he published the music video for "Brace for Impact", which was directed by Matt Mahurin and contains the Grim Reaper, a hot rod coffin and sailboats.[5] On March 24, 2016, Simpson released his cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom" along with its music video, also directed by Matt Mahurin. Simpson said, "I wanted to make a very beautiful and pure homage to Kurt [Cobain]."[6] Streaming of the album became available on April 7, 2016, on NPR's official website.[7]

The song "Oh Sarah" was previously recorded by Simpson's former band Sunday Valley and appeared on their only full-length album, To the Wind and On To Heaven, in 2011.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.3/10[8]
Metacritic86/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[11]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[12]
The Guardian4/5 stars[13]
The Independent4/5 stars[14]
Mojo4/5 stars[15]
Pitchfork8.0/10[16]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[17]
Spin7/10[18]
Uncut9/10[19]

A Sailor's Guide to Earth received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album has received an average score of 86, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 19 reviews.[9]

The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, selling 52,000 copies (55,000 units when tracks and streams are included) in its first week.[20] The album sold a further 13,400 copies in the second week.[21] The album has sold 217,900 copies in the US as of October 2017.[22]

Following his Grammy win, Simpson saw a 346% increase in streaming on Spotify.[23]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
19
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2016
91
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
26

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Sturgill Simpson except "In Bloom", which is written by Kurt Cobain.

No.TitleLength
1."Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)"4:53
2."Breakers Roar"3:33
3."Keep It Between the Lines"4:01
4."Sea Stories"3:17
5."In Bloom" (Nirvana cover)4:01
6."Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"5:49
7."All Around You"3:36
8."Oh Sarah"4:15
9."Call to Arms"5:30
Total length:38:54

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[27] 108
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[28] 31
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[29] 66
Irish Albums (IRMA)[30] 39
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 34
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 43
US Billboard 200[33] 3
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[34] 1
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[35] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[36] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matthew Strauss. "Sturgill Simpson Announces New Album A Sailor's Guide to Earth, Shares "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "59th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees and Winners". The Grammys. December 6, 2016. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  3. ^ Will Welch (January 7, 2016). "The GQ&A: Sturgill Simpson, Country Music's Psychedelic Warrior-Philosopher". GQ. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Carolyn Menyes (March 4, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson Reveals 'A Sailor's Guide to Earth' Tracklist with Nirvana Cover & Tour Dates". Music Times. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Andrew Leahey (March 10, 2016). "Watch Sturgill Simpson's Surreal 'Brace for Impact' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  6. ^ James Grebey (March 24, 2016). "Listen to Sturgill Simpson's Country Cover of Nirvana's 'In Bloom'". Spin. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Ann Powers (April 7, 2016). "First Listen: Sturgill Simpson, 'A Sailor's Guide To Earth'". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "A Sailor's Guide To Earth by Sturgill Simpson reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson". Metacritic. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "A Sailor's Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson". AllMusic. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  11. ^ Chilton, Martin (May 20, 2016). "Best country music albums of 2016". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Vain, Madison (April 14, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson's A Sailor's Guide to Earth: EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Hann, Michael (April 14, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor's Guide to Earth review – hard-hitting country soul". The Guardian. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Gill, Andy (April 13, 2016). "Album reviews – Lush, Graham Nash, Sturgill Simpson and Hauschka". The Independent. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Chick, Stevie (April 11, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor's Guide To Earth". Mojo. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Goble, Corban (April 19, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor's Guide to Earth". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Hermes, Will (April 14, 2016). "A Sailor's Guide to Earth". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  18. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. (April 13, 2016). "Review: Sturgill Simpson Preps a Son of a Sailor on 'A Sailor's Guide to Earth'". Spin. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Anderson, Jason (May 13, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor's Guide To Earth". Uncut. Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  20. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 24, 2016). "Sturgill Simpson and Santana Debut in Top 10 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  21. ^ Bjorke, Matt (May 5, 2016). "Country Album Chart Report: May 5, 2016". Roughstock.
  22. ^ Bjorke, Matt (October 10, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: October 9, 2017". Roughstock.
  23. ^ McAlone, Nathan. "The Grammys' biggest winner was a 77-year-old Memphis legend, according to Spotify and Pandora". Business Insider. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  24. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Paste. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  25. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Stereogum. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor's Guide to Earth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor's Guide to Earth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  30. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 16, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor's Guide to Earth". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  32. ^ 28, 2016/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  33. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  34. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  35. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  36. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.