Album: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
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On his third album, Sturgill Simpson’s ambition burst into full bloom: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth was nothing less than a song cycle about a father explaining to his newborn how to exist on this crazy plane of existence.
And so it was an album of risks, as he expanded his musical palette to include rock, blues, and tons and tons of horn-inflected soul, throwing his big voice over big soundscapes. That said, one of the biggest risks was the Nirvana cover smack dab in the middle of the record. And not just a Nirvana cover, but a Nirvana cover that redirected, if not redefined the song’s original intent.