The Blade Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the country singer-songwriter (who is also a member of Pistol Annies) was produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank.
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The Blade
I let your love in, I have the scar I felt the razor against my heart I thought we were both in all the way But you caught it by the handle And I... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 24, 2015
    91
    The majority of Monroe’s superb third album hunkers down with heartache and struggle.
  2. Jul 20, 2015
    91
    The Blade further serves to position her as one of the premiere and rare female neo-traditionalists in the format.
  3. Jul 20, 2015
    90
    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. She rolls easy, luxuriating in that exquisite sound, her soft touch making the heartbreak and the humor seem equally alluring.
  4. Jul 22, 2015
    80
    In 2013, she released the elegantly scarred “Like a Rose,” a striking album that showed her to be a sly, progressive songwriter and a nimble, tradition-minded singer. At its best, The Blade, her follow-up, continues that arc.
  5. Aug 5, 2015
    80
    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.
  6. Jul 23, 2015
    80
    It’s definitely more expansive sonically than Monroe’s previous work, which doesn’t mean it sounds disjointed; rather, it comes across as presenting different sides of the same artist.
  7. Jul 20, 2015
    70
    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.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 21, 2015
    10
    Ashley is such a good songwriter, her voice is so beautiful too. This album truly blew me away by its quality and I can relate to almost everyAshley is such a good songwriter, her voice is so beautiful too. This album truly blew me away by its quality and I can relate to almost every song on it. Pure country gold. Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2015
    7
    When you meet Ashley Monroe on "Like a Rose" there is a confidence about her that comes from experience. You get the feeling that this is aWhen you meet Ashley Monroe on "Like a Rose" there is a confidence about her that comes from experience. You get the feeling that this is a person that has been through allot but somehow she made. Thus, Like a Rose hits on a human level that you forget how talented she is. Like a Rose feels like a one on one conversation.

    On the Blade you find a confident Ashley Monroe that knows how good she is and how good she can be and she holds no punches. Thus, The Blade feel like a talent show and a very good one. The production is bold and the vocal performances are bold. At time, its hard to find something to hold on too for a long period of time and the album can feel overwhelming. Which is strange because, unlike Like a Rose, like album is more of a concept album about break-up and relationships (the two sides of relationship).

    She could have bundled the heartbreak songs and separated those from the lighter songs but obviously I am just fishing for something to complain about as one has to in a review. Bottom line, Monroe is a great songwriter and a great singer and the Blade is a showcase of that. There are some songs on this album that will stay with you for a very long time, the title track, I'm Good at Leavin', and "If the Devil Don't Want Me" are my favorite songs.

    I wish Monroe would make a non-country album but no pop or pop-rock; maybe a blue rock or a bluegrass album just to see if she can do it, but the fans always wish for things like these and then complain. Just will be just fine with country. 85/100
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