First Country: New Music from Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Morgan Wallen & More

First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos & albums that dropped this week.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better country album this year than Starting Over, Stapleton’s fourth studio album and first since 2017’s From A Room: Volume 2. From Stapleton’s ragged, soulful vocals to Dave Cobb’s feral production, Starting Over is all untamed emotion. Whether Stapleton is singing about beginning anew with his love on the title track,  expressing his devotion on “When I’m With You,” bitterly addressing an ex-lover on “Cold” or  angrily and righteously taking on the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival shooter in the blistering “Watch You Burn,” none of the rough edges are sanded off here, and the result is masterful. Stapleton covers John Fogerty’s “Joy of My Life” and Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone” and “Old Friends” here and he proves that he is as capable a songwriter as these two legends.