Monday, April 1, 2013

Album Review: Like a Rose by Ashley Monroe

This is the best country album I've heard in quite a while. Not that the Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison wasn't good, I did give it three stars, but there is something fresh about this album from Ashley Monroe. She has blended together Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn and a modern country sound with producer Vince Gill to put together a nine track album with not a missed step.

Monroe got her real break when she became a part of the Pistol Annies through her friendship with Miranda Lambert. She got to know Lambert from her work as a singer, songwriter in Nashville. With the Pistol Annies gig she got some notice and was signed to Warner.

Getting Vince Gill was a brilliant move for Monroe. He's a natural at bringing together a traditional country sound into the modern age and it works wonderfully with this collection of songs from Monroe.

This is by far the best album I've hard so far this year. The only drawback the album has is that it doesn't have any one song that knocks your socks off. Still it's such a solid set of songs, Monroe is such a good singer, and Gill has done such a good job putting this album together that you really can't discount it too much for that failure.

Of course now that Monroe has been rediscovered we can go back and listen to her first album from 2007 called Satisfied. You listen to that album and you wonder how it is she failed the first time around. At 19 she had an incredible voice and a smart hand at songwriting. Hopefully this time around will be different for her and she can find success.

Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 3 out of 5 stars for Pretty Good.

I find this fun. One song made it on both Monroe's debut album and this reboot, it's fittingly called "Used."

Here are the two versions via youtube.


  1. I'm glad you reviewed this. I've been wondering about this album.

  2. That first song is really, really pretty.

  3. These songs on this new album sound really great. I don't know how the music business works, but, if I was any sort of music performer, I'd do my best to make sure that Vince Gill was involved in producing my records.

  4. I love that bass on "Like a Rose," and I finally figured out what it reminds me of.