The Blade

Ashley Monroe - The Blade
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2015 Ratings: #40 / 770
User Score
Based on 28 ratings
2015 Ratings: #250
July 24, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warner Bros. / Label
Country / Genres
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ashleymonroe.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club
On an album full of piercing gestures, the tact of finding feminine agency by identifying with folly might just be its most effective.
90
AllMusic
All this makes for a diverse set of songs but the key to Monroe's appeal is that she seems neither showy nor calculating when she expands beyond her classic country roots.
89
Paste
The hooks are there—and they stick in deep—but there’s no EDM bluster or rock histrionics cooked into the stew. Monroe and her producers Vince Gill and Justin Niebank have created something a lot more even-keeled.
80
PopMatters

The Blade is her first album that can’t be construed as a debut. It’s also the first that doesn’t feel like a debut. It’s coming from a place of confidence in talent, of assurance in what she’s doing.

80
Billboard
More than a rebel, she's the most elegant country stylist of her generation.
80
No Ripcord

She knows what it is to crave whiskey, to lust after men, to flout the petty hypocrisy of small-town country life and then cry and ask Jesus for forgiveness. This time she wove this narrative of Southern womanhood into The Blade and, by forgoing judgment and flaunting all its incoherent complexities, made it universal.

80
Rolling Stone

Her third LP imagines a 2015 mainstream by reflecting what it once was — Loretta and Dolly in the Sixties, sure, but also Emmylou in the Eighties and Reba in the Nineties.

75
Pitchfork

Like so many country albums ... The Blade could be stronger if it was more streamlined and sequenced with some kind of overarching narrative in mind, but that's almost beside the point when the album sounds so damn good.

70
Spin

A couple of wooly moments aside, Monroe’s third album, The Blade, continues a remarkable hot streak for writers Luke Laird, Jessi Alexander, Chris Stapleton, and Monroe herself.

lazyotter
81
most emotional album of the year.
70
In a just world, Ashley Monroe would be one of the biggest country stars going. Of her three (relatively speaking) high-profile full lengths, “The Blade” is the one where she most engages with that possibility. She’s still a traditionalist, but a few songs see her adding some synthesized drums and toying with a mainstream, contemporary sheen. This could be an issue, but it would take a lot to distract from Monroe’s beautiful voice and sympathetic songwriting. And ... read more
rebeligado
79
Best Songs: I Buried Your Love Alive, Bombshell, I'm Good At Leavin' And On To Something Good
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Track List

  1. On To Something Good
  2. I Buried Your Love Alive
  3. Bombshell
  4. Weight of the Load
  5. The Blade
  6. Winning Streak
  7. From Time To Time
  8. If Love Was Fair
  9. Has Anybody Ever Told You
  10. Dixie
  11. If the Devil Don't Want Me
  12. Mayflowers
  13. I'm Good At Leavin'
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Added on: June 17, 2015