Like John’s original recording, the track begins with the staccato proclamation of “I want love, but’s impossible.” The lyrics fall into glum self-reflection with Stapleton’s guitar crying along, still holding out hope for a love fit for a cowboy that won’t “won’t fence me in.”
Instead of morphing the song into something completely different, Stapleton’s cover expands on the solid bones of the ballad without overworking the track. He even pulls back his vocals in order to not oversing the lyrics, which would be easy to do with Stapleton’s powerful pipes. The result is a breathtakingly beautiful cover.
Chris Stapleton says he’s looking forward to his cover joining other country artists’ takes on Restoration. “At any stage of life you can pick out a moment and a place in time, things that were going on and there’s an Elton John song playing somewhere in the background,” said Stapleton in a release. “He’s always going to be present in every musician’s mind and mine as well because his music reaches that far.”