the republic logo

Music Review: Country singer Ashley Monroe is sharp on her 3rd album, 'The Blade'

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

, "The Blade" (Warner Bros. Nashville)

, a member of the Pistol Annies with and Angaleena Presley, continues to prove herself as a top young country artist with her third album, "The Blade."

Good, traditional country ballads are rare these days, but "The Blade" features several, including the poignant title cut and the mournful breakup diatribe, "If the Devil Don't Want Me."

Monroe balances the pain with plenty of playful romps. "Winning Streak" mischievously suggests that when it comes to losing, the song's subject is on a roll. Similarly, "I Buried Your Love Alive" rocks to a wicked, bluesy vamp.

Monroe is an artfully subtle singer. The tone of her voice is reminiscent of a fellow East Tennessee native, , and Monroe uses it with restrained beauty, and she knows just when to turn up the heat or heartbreak. She works again with co-producers and Justin Niebank, who match her emotional understatement with some exquisite steel guitar and hot electric guitar work.

Monroe's 2013 album topped several critics' lists, including The New York Times and Rolling Stone, as the best country album of the year. Watch for "The Blade" to appear near the top of the same lists again in 2015.

PHOTO: This CD cover image released by Warner Music Nashville shows "The Blade," a new release by Ashley Monroe, out Friday, July 24. (Warner Music Nashville via AP)
This CD cover image released by Warner Music Nashville shows "The Blade," a new release by Ashley Monroe, out Friday, July 24. (Warner Music Nashville via AP)
Get all your favorite Music news by following our Music feed on Twitter! Click Here!

 

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.