12 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though Sturgill Simpson would start pushing hard at the boundaries of country music on his second album, his debut—High Top Mountain—is a solidly roots-conscious slab of hard country reverberating with echoes of classic honky tonk and '70s outlaw country. Yet somehow it never sounds overtly retro. Maybe part of the reason for the freshness of it all is that it feels like Simpson is really singing about himself rather than reeling off a rote collection of old-school country tropes. The opening track, "Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean," examines the challenges faced by a real-deal country singer trying to navigate the modern music scene. Simpson's maverick spirit is evident throughout the album, especially when he's casually tossing off expletives on the wry "You Can Have the Crown," ensuring the song will never get within a mile of the radio. But radio play clearly isn't Simpson's target—he's after a more intangible impact, the kind that artists from Merle Haggard to Willie Nelson have made on audiences' souls.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though Sturgill Simpson would start pushing hard at the boundaries of country music on his second album, his debut—High Top Mountain—is a solidly roots-conscious slab of hard country reverberating with echoes of classic honky tonk and '70s outlaw country. Yet somehow it never sounds overtly retro. Maybe part of the reason for the freshness of it all is that it feels like Simpson is really singing about himself rather than reeling off a rote collection of old-school country tropes. The opening track, "Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean," examines the challenges faced by a real-deal country singer trying to navigate the modern music scene. Simpson's maverick spirit is evident throughout the album, especially when he's casually tossing off expletives on the wry "You Can Have the Crown," ensuring the song will never get within a mile of the radio. But radio play clearly isn't Simpson's target—he's after a more intangible impact, the kind that artists from Merle Haggard to Willie Nelson have made on audiences' souls.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
232 Ratings

232 Ratings

bbraud5 ,

Incredible album

He is what country music needs.

whitefish ,

Is it 1974?

Wow! I hate the Modern crap they call country these days. I love Johnny, Waylon, Waylon, Patsy, etc… & this guy has a similar 1974 sound. Even if you think you hate country give it a try!

TLKnollie81 ,

Great CD!!

Glad I stumbled upon this album! Very impressed with Sturgill Simpson and High Top Mountain...this where country music should be headed!

Hope to see more from him in the future.

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