Traveller (Chris Stapleton album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Traveller
Traveller (Chris Stapleton album).jpg
Studio album by Chris Stapleton
Released May 5, 2015 (2015-05-05)
Studio RCA Studio A, Blackbird Studios in Nashville
Genre
Length 63:29
Label Mercury Nashville
Producer
Chris Stapleton chronology
Traveller
(2015)
From A Room: Volume 1
(2017)From A Room: Volume 12017
Singles from Traveller
  1. "Traveller"
    Released: April 27, 2015
  2. "Nobody to Blame"
    Released: November 9, 2015
  3. "Parachute"
    Released: May 2, 2016[1]

Traveller is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. The album was produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton, and was released on May 5, 2015, through Mercury Nashville.

Described by music publications as an old-school country, Southern rock record, Traveller received critical acclaim and earned Stapleton several awards. It was named Album of the Year at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards. Furthermore, it received a nomination at the 58th Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and a win for Best Country Album. The song "Traveller" also won Best Country Solo Performance. At the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards it won Album of the Year, with the song "Nobody to Blame" also winning Song of the Year. It won the Billboard Music Award for Top Country Album in 2016 and 2017.

Traveller reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart after a duet performance by Stapleton and Justin Timberlake at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards. The album has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over 2.3 million copies in the United States by June 2018.[2] It generated three singles: "Traveller", "Nobody to Blame", and "Parachute". "Nobody to Blame" reached the top 10 on the Country Airplay chart.[3] The album track "Fire Away" was accompanied by a music video.[4]

Music and composition[edit]

I lost my dad in October 2013 and did a little bit of soul-searching. My wife was kind enough to buy me an old Jeep. We flew out to Phoenix and drove it all the way back to Nashville through the desert. I thought a lot about music and my dad, and the things that he would have liked that I should be doing. Out of that, I actually wrote the song 'Traveller' driving down Interstate 40 through New Mexico. That became the cornerstone for the record and wound up being the title track.

 — Stapleton speaking about his inspiration for the album during an interview with Billboard[5]

The album is an old-school country record mixed with Southern rock. Tracks on the album features electric guitar, mandolin, and acoustic guitar. "The Devil Named Music" exclaims the hard life on the road, while "Might As Well Get Stoned" features resignation lyrics.[6] Musically, "Sometimes I Cry" is a blues song,[6] "Nobody to Blame" a mid-tempo country rock track,[7] and "Fire Away" features a beat in a classic soul-ballad time signature.[8] "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore" shrouds reflections about his father in the language of religious backsliding and was previously covered by Julie Roberts in 2013.[9] In an interview for Rolling Stone, Stapleton commented "If somebody tells me it sounds dated, I'd say that's great, as long as the date is 1978. My favorite things are from then."[6]

Stapleton wrote or co-wrote all but two of the album's 14 tracks. The album features a blues-influenced cover of David Allan Coe's single "Tennessee Whiskey", and Charlie Daniels' "Was It 26," written by Don Sampson.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted on the Top Country Albums chart at number two, and the Billboard 200 at number 14, selling 27,000 copies in the week ending May 10.[10]

Following Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake's performance at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards, sales for the album increased 6,000%[11] and it re-entered the Billboard 200 at number one after being absent from the chart since September, with 177,000 equivalent album units (153,000 in pure album sales). According to Billboard, the surge in sales is owed to how a mass audience discovered Stapleton on the November 4 CMA Awards broadcast. Traveller is also the first debut country album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 in over four years, with Clear as Day (2011) by Scotty McCreery being the last.[12] It became the first album to reenter the chart at number one. It remained at number one for a second week with 124,000 album-equivalent units, including 97,000 pure album sales.[13] The album track "Tennessee Whiskey" topped the Hot Country Songs chart,[14] and reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album sold 685,000 copies in the United States during 2015.[15] In February 2016, Traveller was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and double platinum in September.[16] It became the fourth best-selling album of 2016 in the nation, and the top selling country album, with 1.04 million copies sold that year.[15] The album surpassed the 2 million sales mark in the US in July 2017,[17], and it was the second best-selling country album of 2017 (after Stapleton's second album From A Room: Volume 1.[18] It hold the records for the most weeks atop the Americana/Folk Albums chart (42 in total as of March 2018).[19] It topped the Billboard Year-End Top Country Albums chart in 2016 and 2017.[20][21] It was cetified triple platinum in May,[16] and has sold 2.3 million copies in the country as of August 2018.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic85/100[22]
Review scores
SourceRating
AbsolutePunk9/10 stars[23]
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
Billboard4/5 stars[9]
Digital JournalA[25]
Exclaim!9/10[26]
NPR(Favorable)[27]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[28]
Wall Street Journal(Favorable)[29]

Traveller received 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 85, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 6 reviews.[22] In a review for Billboard, editor Caitlin White gave the album four-out-of-five stars, describing Traveller as a "solemn album, the work of a man gripped by life's impermanence", noting "undercurrents of regret, loss and resignation" in songs like "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore," "Nobody to Blame" and "Devil Named Music". About the record's sound direction, she commented "Stapleton's songs are both rhythmic and nuanced, perhaps a by-product of years spent writing for others. They feature a cast of characters that remain likable even as they rush headlong into pursuit of ruin, fortune or chance." White concluded "it's a triumphant debut, encapsulating the grit of life, turning it into a hell of a journey."[9] In Los Angeles Times, Randy Lewis wrote "Stapleton's trenchant pen combines with his soul-drenched rasp of a voice for a moving exploration of the panoply of emotions in the human experience."[30]

Critics from Rolling Stone opined Traveller "encapsulates everything that makes him one of the most powerful and unique voices in country music today: gravelly, soulful and full of songs that ring like instant classics without ever resting too deeply in the past."[31] In their year-end summary they stated "every track goes straight for the emotional jugular and give a glimpse inside a wildly introspective mind."[32] Editor Owen R. Smith from The Seattle Times noted the instruments mandolin, banjo, pedal steel guitar "are all given room to shine, even when Stapleton dips his toe into some menacing country rock in “Nobody to Blame” or electrified bluesy swagger in “Might As Well Get Stoned.""[33]

Accolades[edit]

Publication List Rank Ref.
American Songwriter Top 50 Albums of 2015
1
Billboard 25 Best Albums of 2015
13
Brooklyn Magazine The Best of 2015
no order
The 20 Best Country Albums of 2015
2
Entertainment Weekly The 40 Best Albums of 2015
7
NPR 50 Favorite Albums of 2015
no order
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2015
21
40 Best Country Albums of 2015
3
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2015
43

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2015 Country Music Association Awards Album of the Year Won [42]
2016 Grammy Awards Album of the Year Nominated [43]
Best Country Album Won
Academy of Country Music Awards Album of the Year [44]
Billboard Music Awards Top Country Album [45]
American Country Countdown Awards Album of the Year [46]
Americana Music Honors & Awards Album of the Year Nominated [47]
American Music Awards Favorite Country Album [48]
2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Album of the Year Won [49]
Billboard Music Awards Top Country Album [50]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Traveller"Chris Stapleton3:42
2."Fire Away"
  • Stapleton
  • Danny Green
4:04
3."Tennessee Whiskey"4:52
4."Parachute"
4:13
5."Whiskey and You"3:56
6."Nobody to Blame"4:04
7."More of You"
  • Stapleton
  • Bowman
4:37
8."When the Stars Come Out"
4:16
9."Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore"Stapleton4:09
10."Might as Well Get Stoned"
  • Stapleton
  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Justin Mcghee
4:37
11."Was It 26"Don Sampson4:49
12."The Devil Named Music"Stapleton6:07
13."Outlaw State of Mind"
5:37
14."Sometimes I Cry"
  • Stapleton
  • Clint Ingersoll
4:02
Total length:63:29

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Traveller adapted from AllMusic.[51]

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[67] Gold 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] 3× Platinum 2,335,400[2]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing region, edition, formats, label, and reference
Region Date Edition(s) Format(s) Label Ref.
Various May 5, 2015 Standard Mercury Nashville [68]
United Kingdom March 4, 2016 Vinyl Decca [69]
United States May 26, 2015 Mercury Nashville [70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Country Aircheck Issue 495" (PDF). Country Aircheck. April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Bjorke, Matt (August 15, 2018). "The Top 10 Country Albums: August 14, 2018". Roughstock. Retrieved August 17, 2018. 
  3. ^ Greenwald, Morgan (March 26, 2016). "13 Things to Know About the Billboard Charts This Week: Chris Stapleton Scores First Top 10 Hit & More". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ Freeman, Jon (February 29, 2016). "See Chris Stapleton's Harrowing 'Fire Away' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ Dauphin, Chuck (April 30, 2015). "Chris Stapleton's Debut Album 'Traveller' Inspired by 'Soul-Searching' Road Trip". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Chris Stapleton on Why Stunning New Album 'Traveller' Isn't for Kids". Roling Stone. May 7, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Smit, Owen R. (March 23, 2017). "Chris Stapleton brings back introspective, old-school country music". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ Leight, Elias (May 6, 2016). "Chris Stapleton Shows His Inner Stax Soul Man at Album Release Party In New York: Live Review". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c White, Caitlin (May 12, 2015). "Country Songwriter Chris Stapleton Copes With Loss on Triumphant Solo Debut: Album Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Keith Caulfield and Gary Trust (May 14, 2015). "Chris Stapleton Starts With Best Sales for a New Country Artist in 2015". Billboard. 
  11. ^ "2015 Nielsen Music U.S. Report" (PDF). Nielsen. January 6, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  12. ^ Caulfield, Keith (November 8, 2015). "Chris Stapleton Soars to No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart After CMAs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  13. ^ Caulfield, Keith (November 15, 2015). "Chris Stapleton Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ Asker, Jim (November 10, 2015). "Chris Stapleton Travels to Top of Country Charts Without Strong Support From Radio". Billboard. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Grein, Paul (December 20, 2016). "The Top-Selling Albums of 2016". Yahoo Music!. 
  16. ^ a b c "American album certifications". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  17. ^ Caulfield, Keith (July 14, 2017). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Chris Stapleton's 'Traveller' Surpasses 2 Million in U.S. Sales". Billboard. 
  18. ^ Rau,, Nate (January 4, 2018). "Revealed: Country music's most listened to artists in 2017". Tennessean. USA Today. 
  19. ^ Asker, Jim (March 20, 2018). "Chris Stapleton Claims First Country Airplay Leader With 'Broken Halos'". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  20. ^ a b "Billboard Top Country Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Billboard Top Country Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Traveller". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  23. ^ Manning, Craig. "Chris Stapleton - Traveller - Album Review". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  24. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Traveller - Chris Stapleton — Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  25. ^ Papadatos, Markos (November 8, 2015). "Review: Chris Stapleton spell-binding on 'Traveller' studio album". Digital Journal. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  26. ^ Henderson, Stuart (May 5, 2015). "Chris Stapleton - Traveller". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 11, 2017. 
  27. ^ Powers, Ann. "Review: Chris Stapleton, 'Traveller'". NPR. NPR. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  28. ^ Chilton, Martin. "Best Country Music Albums of 2015". The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  29. ^ Fusilli Jim. "'Traveller' by Chris Stapleton Review". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  30. ^ Lewis, Randy (December 11, 2015). "Best of 2015: 10 great albums in 2015 include works by Chris Stapleton, Rhiannon Giddens, Los Lobos and more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Who Is Chris Stapleton: 5 Things You Need to Know About the CMA King". Rolling Stone. November 5, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  33. ^ Smit, Owen R. (March 23, 2017). "Chris Stapleton brings back introspective, old-school country music". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  34. ^ "American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2015: Presented by D'Addario". American Songwriter. November 23, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Billboard.com's 25 Best Albums of 2015: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 15, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  36. ^ White, Caitlin (December 1, 2015). "The Best of 2015: A Look Back at the Best Albums of the Year". Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  37. ^ White, Caitlin (December 2, 2015). "The 20 Best Country Albums Of 2015". Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  38. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2015". Entertainment Weekly. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  39. ^ "NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2015". NPR. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  40. ^ "40 Best Country Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015. 
  41. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". Stereogum. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  42. ^ Watts, Cindy (4 November 2015). "CMA Awards: Stapleton, Little Big Town are winners". The Tennessean. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  43. ^ "Grammys: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd Lead Nominations". Rolling Stone. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  44. ^ Billboard Staff (April 3, 2016). "ACM Awards 2016: See the Full List of Winners". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  45. ^ Billboard Staff (May 22, 2016). "Billboard Music Awards 2016: Complete Winners List". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  46. ^ Billboard Staff (May 1, 2016). "American Country Countdown Awards 2016: See the Winners List". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Americana Honors & Awards Nominees Announced". The Americana Music Association. May 11, 2016. 
  48. ^ "AMAs 2016: See the Full List of Winners". Billboard. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  49. ^ Thorpe, Isha (March 5, 2017). "Here's The Complete List Of #iHeartAwards Winners". iHeartRadio. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  50. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Winners From the 2017 Billboard Music Awards". Billboard. May 21, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  51. ^ "Traveller on AllMusic". Retrieved January 17, 2016. 
  52. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Chris Stapleton – Traveller". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  53. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  54. ^ "Chris Stapleton Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  55. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  56. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  57. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  58. ^ "Chris Stapleton Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  59. ^ "Chris Stapleton Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  60. ^ "Chris Stapleton Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  61. ^ "Billboard 200 - Year-end Chart". Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  62. ^ "Billboard Top Country Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  63. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2016/top-canadian-albums
  64. ^ "Billboard 200 - Year-end Chart". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  65. ^ "Top Canadian Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  66. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  67. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Chris Stapleton – Traveller". Music Canada. 
  68. ^ "Traveller". Amazon. 2015. 
  69. ^ "Traveller [VINYL]". Amazon. 2016. 
  70. ^ "Traveller [2 LP]". Amazon. 2015. 

External links[edit]