Ashley Monroe - Like A Rose came out a few weeks ago and I downloaded it as soon as possible and I can easily say I'm a fan. It is very classic country. I am not a fan of most Nashville female singers with the exception of a few and she is now in that select group for me. Monroe is a Pistol Annie so I was already exposed to her voice and her writing, but this album takes on it's own sound. Her lyrics are real and honest. Vince Gill, who produced the record said "she writes songs like Guy Clark and sings like Dolly Parton."
There's traditional country topics but still feel modern. "Weed Instead of Roses" is a ballsy one but it's done in such a fun way that even the biggest prude will tap a toe to it. "Used" and "The Morning After" both sound like something Lee Ann Womack would have recorded at any point in her career. There's lots of personal anecdotes hidden on this album. The first song on the album and the title track, "Like A Rose," is sort of an auto-biography song and lays down the groundwork for the rest of the songs. "Monroe Suede" shows more personality as does the humorous Blake Shelton duet, "You Ain't Dolly [And You Ain't Porter]."
While it may not have huge commercial radio success, this record will make you laugh and cry and give you your real country music fix all in one. I couldn't really pick out singles because it is a record that you can listen to start to finish and start over again. Check it out.