Eric Church surprise drops new album 'Mr. Misunderstood'

Eric Church pulled a Beyonce this week. When fan club members checked their snail mail Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 4), they were treated to a brand-new, all-original album from the outsider, titled Mr. Misunderstood. The 10-track collection, a fully-produced package of never-before-heard material, is the apt follow-up to 2014's The Outsiders album, complete with hard-hitting southern-rock influence. During last night's CMA Awards, Church debuted the album's title track, much to the satisfaction of his fans and the country music community. In the aftermath of one of the best awards shows in recent history, Mr. Misunderstood stands tall at No. 2 on the iTunes album chart this morning (Nov. 5), behind only breakthrough superstar Chris Stapleton's Album of the Year-winning Traveller disc.

Church's The Outsiders arrived early last year at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, shifting an impressive 288,000 copies. It became his second chart-topper of his career. Previously, 2011's Chief bowed at the summit with 145,000 units.

Make sure you check out Church's brand new LP Mr. Misunderstood on Apple Music now. "My son names my guitars," Church pens in a handwritten letter of the new album. "He named the one that would make my 5th album Butter Bean. I've always believed that instruments have stories to tell. It's up to the keeper of the instrument to turn those stories into songs. I wrote my first song on Butter Bean late this summer. 20 days later, I had 18 songs. 20 days following that, I had 10 recorded. That was 30 days ago. It always takes me time to look for inspiration to make a new album. This time, inspiration came looking for me. Together, we found Mr. Misunderstood. Today, it's yours."

Hot off the heels of such blockbuster No. radio hits as "Talladega" and "Give Me Back My Hometown," he notched several CMA Awards nominations this year, including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. His current single "Like a Wrecking Ball" earned recognition in the Song of the Year category, alongside Little Big Town's waltz smash "Girl Crush" and newcomer Sam Hunt's "Take Your Time," from his R&B-stylized Montevallo debut album.

In support of his new tunes, Church has a string of overseas dates slated for March, with additional concerts yet to be announced. Keep up-to-date on forthcoming shows on his official website.