“I think every song on this record has an edge of some sort,” Ashley Monroe told People of her new album, ‘The Blade.’ “It cuts. That's why I thought ‘The Blade’ was a perfect title.
Monroe will release, The Blade, one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2015 on July 24th. The follow up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Like A Rose was once again produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank and includes thirteen emotional tracks including her current single “Onto Something Good” as well as the heart wrenching and cutting track, “The Blade,” written by Marc Beeson, Allen Shamblin and Jamie Floyd.
Monroe’s signature vocals shine on the eleven beguiling tracks; songs that stand impressively and distinctly apart from everything in the mainstream. The songs have an edge, some even a darkness that can often be quietly spunky. Monroe isn’t afraid to explore the deep hurt of unsuccessful relationships, whether it is in the shuffling swagger of “I Buried Your Love Alive” or in “Bombshell,” where she exhales and releases the weight she is carrying, "I can't love you, I can't love you anymore."
She’s sweetly reassuring, and supportive on “Weight of The Load” encouraging one that true love can be found while the joyous, jazzy pep of “Winning Streak” downplays her losing streak. “From Time To Time” and “If Love Was Fair” both feel as if they would be comfortable on country radio or contemporary with Monroe’s twang balancing a Fleetwood Mac feel, particularly in the latter. Of course there’s always one song that elicits incredibly deep emotion and on The Blade, the tender piano ballad, “Has Anybody Ever told You” does just that.
Traditional melodies and creative story-telling abound on “Dixie,” “If The Devil Don’t Want Me” and “Mayflowers.” The record concludes appropriately with “I’m Good At Leavin’,” a song whose melody and lyrics are flawless. “Something comes over me/I got a knack for being free/I’m just following a feeling/I’m good at leaving.” It’s a quite perfect ending to an album that is sure to be lauded as one of the year's best.