On to Something Good
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On to Something Good
The Blade
TheBlade.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 24, 2015 (2015-07-24)
GenreNeotraditional Country
Length46:40
LabelWarner Bros. Nashville
ProducerVince Gill
Justin Niebank
Ashley Monroe chronology
Like a Rose
(2013)
The Blade
(2015)
Live at Third Man Records
(2016)
Singles from The Blade
  1. "On to Something Good"
    Released: March 9, 2015

The Blade is the third studio album by American country music artist Ashley Monroe, released on July 24, 2015, through Warner Bros. Nashville.[1] The album was produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank[2] and includes the lead single "On to Something Good."[3] The album made numerous "Best Albums of 2015" lists and was nominated for Best Country Album at the 58th Grammy Awards.[4]

Promotion

In support of the album, Monroe toured with Little Big Town throughout the summer of 2015. Monroe then embarked on a headlining tour, "The Blade Tour," in the fall of 2015.[5]

Promotional appearances in the media included a live performance of "Winning Streak" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on July 27, 2015, "The Blade" on ABC's The View on August 6, 2015 and "I Buried Your Love Alive" on Conan on August 26, 2015.[6][7][8]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.8/10[9]
Metacritic86/100[10]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. ClubA-[12]
Billboard4/5 stars[13]
Mojo4/5 stars[14]
Nash Country WeeklyA-[15]
Paste8.9/10[16]
Pitchfork7.5/10[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[18]
Spin7/10[19]
Uncut8/10[20]

The Blade received acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 86 out of 100, which indicates "universal acclaim" based on 14 reviews.[10]

Rolling Stones Will Hermes gave the album four stars believing "The Blade dials it back...[for] You won't know whether to whoop or weep...It's a beautiful thing."[18]Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic rated the album four and a half out of five stars and states: "She rolls easy, luxuriating in that exquisite sound, her soft touch making the heartbreak and the humor seem equally alluring."[11] The four out of five star review Jewly Hight delivered for Billboard was for Monroe's ability to "sing these songs, many of which she co-wrote, with exquisite, bruised sensitivity."[13] It was Spin's "album of the week," and in a seven out of ten rating Alfred Soto writes: "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."[19] Robert Ham for Paste rated the album an 8.9 out of ten, succinctly sums-up the album, for being a "heartfelt and engaging" affair.[16] This album got an A- from Nash Country Weekly, Tammy Ragusa realizes the release cements Monroe "as one of the premiere and rare female neo-traditionalists in the format."[15] Sam C. Mac, gave the release an A- rating on behalf of The A.V. Club, informs the listener, "The majority of Monroe's superb third album hunkers down with heartache and struggle."[12] Judging the album to be a B+ release, Glenn Gamboa writes for Newsday, asking a hypothetical question: "Monroe is still sorting out her own sound, but who can complain when that process is so compelling?"[21] This album got an eight out of ten stars rating by PopMatters, Dave Heaton reminds it's not how many questions of pain with regards to the release, rather in hearing them, "they sound splendid."[22] The release got a 7.5 out of ten from Pitchfork, Stephen M. Deusner marginally derides, "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."[17]

Meet-Country.com praised the album, in particular the title track, stating ""The Blade" is the crown jewel on the whole album. Although not penned by Ashley herself, she still took command on this one and sings it as if its one of her own. On the flip side, the narrator is the one who is still in love with someone who isn't in love with them." [23]

Accolades

Year Association Category Result
2016 Grammy Awards[4] Best Country Album Nominated
Publication Rank List
AllMusic N/A AllMusic Best of 2015[24]
N/A Best Country Albums of 2015[25]
American Songwriter 18 Top 50 Albums of 2015[26]
Nashville Scene 3 Best Country Albums of 2015[27]
NPR N/A 50 Favorite Albums of 2015[28]
Paste 37 The 50 Best Albums of 2015[29]
PopMatters 38 The 80 Best Albums of 2015[30]
1 The Best Country Music of 2015[31]
Rolling Stone 38 50 Best Albums of 2015[32]
5 40 Best Country Albums of 2015[33]
Time 1 Top 10 Best Albums of 2015[34]

Track listing

[35]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."On to Something Good"Ashley Monroe, Barry Dean, Luke Laird3:50
2."I Buried Your Love Alive"Monroe, Matraca Berg3:14
3."Bombshell"Monroe, Steve McEwan, Gordie Sampson3:17
4."Weight of the Load"Monroe, Vince Gill3:59
5."The Blade"Marc Beeson, Jamie Floyd, Allen Shamblin3:27
6."Winning Streak"Monroe, Jessi Alexander, Chris Stapleton3:10
7."From Time to Time"Monroe, Justin Davis, Sarah Zimmermann4:03
8."If Love Was Fair"Monroe, Alexander, Steve Moakler3:48
9."Has Anybody Ever Told You"Monroe, Tyler Cain3:52
10."Dixie"Monroe, Davis, Zimmermann3:26
11."If the Devil Don't Want Me"Monroe, Alexander, Stapleton3:40
12."Mayflowers"Monroe, Brendan Benson3:40
13."I'm Good at Leavin'"Monroe, Alexander, Miranda Lambert3:14
Total length:46:40

Personnel

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[36]

Musicians
Featured artists
Technical personnel
  • Drew Bollman - assistant, engineering
  • Andrew Darby - assistant
  • Steven Dewey - assistant
  • Vince Gill - production
  • Mike "Frog" Griffith - production coordination
  • Adam Grover - assistant
  • Cris Lacy - A&R
  • Joseph Llanes - photography
  • Justin Luffman - management
  • Andrew Mendelson - mastering
  • Mike Moore - art direction, design
  • Justin Niebank - engineer, mixing, production
  • Matt Rausch - assistant, engineer
  • Shane Tarleton - creative director
  • Brian David Willis - digital editing

Chart performance

The Blade debuted at number 30 on the US Billboard 200 chart and number 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with 12,000 pure album sales during its first week of release.[37] As of June 2016, the album has sold 38,600 copies in the US.[38]

Album

Chart (2015) Peak
position
UK Country Albums (OCC)[39] 3
US Billboard 200[40] 30
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[41] 2

Singles

Year Song Chart Peak
position
2015 "On to Something Good" US Country Airplay 53[42]

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label
United States July 24, 2015 Warner Bros. Nashville

References

  1. ^ Thompson, Gayle (June 3, 2015). "Ashley Monroe Shares Cover Art, Title Track of Upcoming Album, 'The Blade' [LISTEN]". The Boot. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Parker, Eric T. (June 2, 2015). "Ashley Monroe Previews Tracks on 'The Blade'". MusicRow. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Thompson, Gayle (May 6, 2015). "Ashley Monroe Announces Details of Sophomore Album". The Boot. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ a b Cadden, Mary (February 16, 2016). "List: Who won what at the 58th annual Grammys". USA Today. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Dukes, Billy (July 27, 2015). "Ashley Monroe Announces 'The Blade' Tour". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "Ashley Monroe Performs "Winning Streak" on "The Tonight Show"". Nash Country Weekly. American Media, Inc. July 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ "'The View': Ashley Monroe Performs on 'The View'". AOL. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Ashley Monroe "I Buried Your Love Alive" 08/26/15". Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "The Blade by Ashley Monroe reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Reviews for The Blade by Ashley Monroe". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Blade - Ashley Monroe". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ a b Mac, Sam C. (July 24, 2015). "Ashley Monroe's superb third album hunkers down with heartache". The A.V. Club. The Onion Inc. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ a b Hight, Jewly (July 21, 2015). "Country Singer Ashley Monroe Goes Adult Contemporary With 'The Blade': Album Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ "Ashley Monroe: The Blade". Mojo (266): 96. January 2016.
  15. ^ a b Ragusa, Tammy (July 20, 2015). "The Blade by Ashley Monroe". Nash Country Weekly. American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ a b Ham, Robert (July 21, 2015). "Ashley Monroe: The Blade Review". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ a b Deusner, Stephen M. (July 21, 2015). "Ashley Monroe: The Blade". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ a b Hermes, Will (August 12, 2015). "The Blade". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ a b Soto, Alfred (July 24, 2015). "Review: Ashley Monroe's Songcraft Stays Sharp on 'The Blade'". Spin. Buzzmedia. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "Ashley Monroe: The Blade". Uncut (223): 75. December 2015.
  21. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (July 24, 2015). "'The Blade' review: Whole latitudes of country from Ashley Monroe". Newsday. Cablevision. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Heaton, Dave (July 20, 2015). "Ashley Monroe: The Blade". PopMatters. Sarah Zupko. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ https://rockmeetscountry.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/ashley-monroe-cuts-through-the-rest-on-the-blade-album-review/
  24. ^ AllMusic staff (December 11, 2015). "AllMusic Best of 2015". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ AllMusic staff (December 22, 2015). "Best Country Albums of 2015". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ American Songwriter (November 23, 2015). "American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums Of 2015". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Nashville Scene (January 28, 2016). "16th Annual Country Music Critics' Poll". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ NPR (December 7, 2015). "NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2015". NPR. Retrieved 2015.
  29. ^ Paste Staff (December 2, 2015). "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Paste. Retrieved 2015.
  30. ^ PopMatters Staff (December 7, 2015). "The 80 Best Albums of 2015". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015.
  31. ^ Dave Heaton and Steve Leftridge (December 2, 2015). "The Best Country Music of 2015". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015.
  32. ^ Rolling Stone Staff (December 1, 2015). "50 Best Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015.
  33. ^ Rolling Stone Staff (December 8, 2015). "40 Best Country Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^ Time Staff (December 1, 2015). "Top 10 Best Albums". Time. Retrieved 2015.
  35. ^ "Updated with Tracklist & Writing Credits: Ashley Monroe - Upcoming Album Cowrites!". Windmills's Musical Musings. Retrieved 2015.
  36. ^ "The Blade - Ashley Monroe - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015.
  37. ^ Cantor, Brian (August 3, 2015). "Ashley Monroe's "The Blade" Debuts with 12K Sales; Alan Jackson Claims #1". Headline Planet. Retrieved 2015.
  38. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 27, 2016). "Top 10 Country Albums: June 27, 2016". Roughstock. Retrieved 2016.
  39. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20". Official Charts Company.
  40. ^ "Ashley Monroe Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Ashley Monroe Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Ashley Monroe Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

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