11 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Low-key country tunes from a former hard rock hero. Aaron Lewis’ baritone is the perfect tool for these strong-but-tender songs. The acoustic strumming and simple language bypasses corny hooks and one-liners to rediscover the straight-shooting soulfulness of classic country.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Low-key country tunes from a former hard rock hero. Aaron Lewis’ baritone is the perfect tool for these strong-but-tender songs. The acoustic strumming and simple language bypasses corny hooks and one-liners to rediscover the straight-shooting soulfulness of classic country.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

424 Ratings

Hell ya.

_G0G_1,

Leave it to a metal god to make better country than 90% of "country" artists.

Maybe now Nashville will listen...

Skydog1994,

Aaron Lewis speaks from the heart. He may have been in Staind first, but country music was his first love, acquired by hanging out with his grandfather. I love Aaron's music in Staind as much as anyone. But true fans should at least respect the man's entire repertoire and stop heckling him at his live shows. It's time to accept truth: He's real. He's raw. He writes his own stuff and adds down-home flavor to what he covers. He's a new generation of outlaw and a bona-fide pop-country killer. The death of pop-country began with the rise of Chris Stapleton (whom Aaron covers on this album, see "Whiskey and You") and it could continue with "Sinner." Aaron belongs in the Grand Ole Opry, having collaborated with three legends (George Jones, Charlie Daniels, and now Willie Nelson.) In this reviewer's opinion, Aaron has earned his status as a country music legend. He writes his own songs, remembers where he came from, and performs live shows with such ferocity and dedication for his fans. Support the man, buy the album. If we continue to demand neo-outlaws like Lewis, Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson, Cody Jinks, Whitey Morgan, etc., pop-country will die, or the Little Big Town's and Chase Rice's of music row will be forced to return to their roots. And maybe Nashville will perk up and listen.

About Aaron Lewis

At the heart of Staind's loud, angst-laden music are the confessional lyrics and introspective personality of frontman Aaron Lewis. While other post-grunge bands were successful in mining the dark caverns once explored by Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, Lewis allowed his sensitivity to pour freely from his words and often pensive vocals, enabling Staind to strike a balance between heavy metal bombast and thoughtful, melodic rock. Born in Springfield, Vermont, Lewis listened to folk music as a child. The son of divorced parents, he chronicled the emotional turmoil in his childhood with Staind, namely on tracks like "Epiphany" and "For You," from Break the Cycle. Like the late Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, Lewis cast an unpretentious, no-frills image, exhibiting a brooding disposition and emotional vulnerability that troubled youths could relate to.

Lewis recorded his first album with Staind, Tormented, in 1996. Staind remained on the fringes of mainstream acceptance until "Outside," a live collaboration between Lewis and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst during the 1999 Family Values Tour, blew up on alternative and mainstream rock stations a year later. With only his acoustic guitar as his musical backing, Lewis delivered a raw, anguished performance of a song that Staind would later record in the studio for Break the Cycle. The track carved the path for Staind's subsequent commercial breakthrough.

Staind sustained a decade of popularity before Lewis broke free with a solo career in 2011, refashioning himself as a conservative country singer on his 2011 EP, Town Line. He had some success with the album but before he could capitalize on his country career, he reunited with Staind for an eponymous album in 2011. In 2012, he prepped his full-length country debut, The Road, which appeared toward the end of the year. Thanks to the minor hits "Endless Summer," "Country Boy," and "Forever," the album went to seven on Billboard's country chart, and he followed it with another country album, Sinner, in the fall of 2016. ~ Michael Sutton

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