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She'S The One'
$20.99 $14.69 Save $6.30 (30%)
Songs And Music From The Motion Picture She's The One (On Sale)The 9th studio album by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers also served as the soundtrack to the 1996 movie She's The One.
It was produced by Rick Rubin, Tom Petty and Mike Campbell and features Heartbreakers originals as well as covers of Beck and Lucinda Williams tunes.1. Walls (Circus)
2. Grew Up Fast
3. Zero From Outer Space
4. Climb That Hill
5 Change The Locks
6. Angel Dream (No. 4)
7. Hope You Never
9. Supernatural Radio
11. Hope On Board
12. Walls (No. 3)
13. Angel Dream (No. 2)
14. Hung Up And Overdue
15. Aiport$20.99 $14.69 Save $6.30 (30%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$24.99 $22.49 Save $2.50 (10%)
She's So Unusual (On Sale)Ranked 494/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
She Bop: 1984 Commercial Blockbuster Combines Mainstream Hooks, Self-Assertive Confidence, and Whimsical Attitude
A True Original: Lauper Bridges Rebellious New-Wave, Giddy Pop, and Girlish Vocals
Back on Vinyl for 1st Time in Decades: Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys World-Renown Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Includes Top 5 Anthems Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Time After Time
Forget, for a moment, about the gypsy clothes, raspberry-pink hair, costume jewelry, and hyperactive behavior. No female artists debut better epitomized MTVs vivid heyday and the smart intersection of self-reliant female politics, savvy hooks, and vibrant imagery than Cyndi Laupers Shes So Unusual. Long before Lady Gaga, and before Madonna embraced any traits resembling punk, the New York native ushered in a new wave of commercial pop while flaunting an exuberant confidence that, overnight, influenced a generation to dye their hair and embrace life with newfound vibrancy. Girls, indeed, just wanted to have fun.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys internationally acclaimed mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP rescues the music from long-standing harshness and disadvantageous brittleness. Back on vinyl for the first time in decades, the multi-platinum 1984 blockbuster sounds completely anew, possessing crisper beats, a fleshed-out midrange, no artificial ceilings, and a clear alleyway to Laupers girlish voice. Finally, the sonics possess the wide spectrum of colors that flavor the songs.
Helmed by the anthem Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Shes So Unusual transformed pop culture by way of Laupers charismatic personality, whimsical attitude, lively performances, unique timbre, witty humor, and unabated passion. Throughout, shes a whirlwind of emotion and cyclone of spirit, tackling insouciant party tracks with the same verve she sings arresting ballads. And while for most it would be a deterrent, Lauper sculpts her chirpy, bop-friendly voice to her advantage, underscoring each songs combination of sentimentality and seditiousness.
With a voice that combined the cartoon soul of Little Eva and the wink-wink naughtiness of Betty Boop, Lauper may have backed away from the depth or urgency of the writers whose work she mainstreamed, but her transformation of their power into sheer pop was ultimately subversive giggling all the way, she incited legions of mall rats into orange-hair rebellion and a measure of self-assertion, wrote Paul Evans for The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, hinting at the records normally unseen depth.
Whether viewed as a subversive new-wave crossover statement or simply as a celebratory declaration of individualism (or, both), Shes So Unusual is an 80s landmark and influential harbinger of the role women would play in both rock and pop.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Money Changes Everything
2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
3. When You Were Mine
4. Time After Time
5. She Bop
6. All Through the Night
8. Ill Kiss You
9. Hes So Unusual
10. Yeah Yeah$24.99 $22.49 Save $2.50 (10%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
The Stranger (On Sale)Ranked 67/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Joels Breakthrough Record Loaded With Smash Hits: Movin Out (Anthonys Song), Just the Way You Are, Only the Good Die Young, Shes Always a Woman
Getting It Right: Mobile Fidelitys Half-Speed Mastered Version Brings Phil Ramones Celebrated Production into Full-Color Detail
1977 Set a Grammy Winner for Record of the Year and Song of the Year
Billy Joel entered 1977 with a great track record but in need of breakthrough. Pairing with producer Phil Ramone (Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel), who developed the requisite ingredients missing from Joels formula, the singer-songwriter became a household name and chart-topping success courtesy of The Stranger. Certified ten-times platinum, Joels artistic and commercial smash remains a pop-rock benchmark. Better still, it now sounds astonishing.
An integral part of Mobile Fidelitys Billy Joel catalog restoration series, The Stranger is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g LP at RTI. Far superior to the previous Sony and Simply Vinyl analog reissues, this edition emphasizes the crucial touches and insightful techniques Ramone brought to a batch of material that ranks among Joels most clever, catchy, and sagacious.
Whereas a handful of Joels preceding efforts feature a near-flawless mix of melodic arrangements and poignant lyrics, the aspects he sought in order to graduate into a more serious artist arrive here via Ramones more muscular, fleshed-out, and rock-enabling production. The streamlined approach slightly strips back the sweeping developments heard on Piano Man and Turnstiles, and on this edition, lays bare the core of the material, allowing the vocalists bittersweet yearning, rollicking 88 notes, and working-class conviction to emanate with full-bodied detail, vivid color, and grand-scale dynamics.
A Grammy winner for both Record and Song of the Year, Just the Way You Are epitomizes Joels balladic reach, his ability to transfer wistful sentiments and lovelorn emotions. He also flashes a mean streak. The animated Only the Good Die Young bounces and hops to an updated classic-R&B rhythm and, underneath its beauty, Shes Always A Woman hints at trouble underfoot. And then theres the New York-centric, character-rich poetry of the vignettes.
Akin to many of his influences, Joel nails the grit, personality, specificity, descriptiveness, and behavior of protagonists that populate Movin Out (Anthonys Song) and Scenes From an Italian Diner, each equally at home on The Stranger as well as on a Broadway play or on a golden-era Hollywood film soundtrack. No wonder that, just months after its original release, Joel was no longer a stranger to any of the music-loving public. He would never look back.
Don't pass up this seminal pop-rock work in the best fidelity its ever enjoyed.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Movin Out (Anthonys Song)
2. The Stranger
3. Just the Way You Are
4. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
6. Only the Good Die Young
7. Shes Always a Woman
8. Get It Right the First Time
9. Everybody Has a Dream/The Stranger (Reprise)$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Oh Man, Cover the GroundLimited Edition Of 1,000 Copies
Pressed On Custom Lake Blue Vinyl
Shana Cleveland is a rare artist who seems dismissive of time. Shes been performing with
a rotating batch of musicians tagged as The Sandcastles for years, and yet Oh Man,
Cover The Ground is their first proper album. It would be easy to chalk up the delay
behind the debut to a slacker lifestyle-Oh Man, Cover The Grounds laid-back vibe
certainly suggests an extremely casual approach to songcraft. But Cleveland is no slacker.
In the years since she first started playing out under her own name, shes helmed a
number of other music projects; most notably her revered Girls In The Garage-inspired
band La Luz. In her downtime, shes crafted a set of 37 trading cards dedicated to
obscure acoustic guitarists and a calendar of drawings depicting rock bands of
yesteryear. The glacial pace of Oh Man, Cover The Grounds development has little to do
with work ethic and everything to do with doing things in a way that feels right. "I don't
really think of it as a proper band," says Cleveland. "The line-up has been different for
almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the
atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals;
some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We've played shows really selectively
throughout the last few years-just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really
interesting. Like, I'd rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at
night than on a three band bill at a bar." In an industry fixated on striking while the iron
is hot, getting an artist in front of as many people in as short of a time as possible,
Clevelands insistence on atmosphere over arbitrary numbers is a bold move.
Oh Man, Cover The Grounds softly-stated melodies and breezy air operates on its own
sense of time. Though the songs still settle comfortably into three-minute parcels, their
gestation bucked at the convention of pop musics stringent time format. "I'm really into
meandering, fingerpicked open-tuned acoustic guitar, like John Fahey and Robbie
Basho," says Cleveland. "I started playing guitar in that style during a year right before I
moved to Seattle when I was lonely and bummed out in the San Fernando Valley and
found solace in spending long afternoons fingerpicking slow moving improvisations." This
casualness is evident in the music-you can hear it in the airy ambience of album opener
"Butter & Eggs", the gentle piano and strings accompaniment on the title track, the
particularly Fahey-esque explorations of "Itching Around" and "SPATM". But even the
timeline of the albums development seems to defy the ephemeral haste that permeates so
much contemporary music. The bulk of Oh Man, Cover The Ground was recorded in
Shanas basement. "I wanted it to sound casual and kind of loose like my favorite folk
albums, so we didn't practice much before recording and a few of the musicians were
playing the songs for the first time."1. Butter & Eggs
2. Holy Rollers
3. Oh Man, Cover The Ground
4. Itching Around
5. Potato Chips
6. Golden Days
7. (death riff)
9. Rounding The Block
10. City To City
11. Sucking Stones
12. Quiet As Skin
13. Change In The Ocean$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
The Carnegie Hall Concert (On Sale)From-the-Vault Live Release Captures Iconic Singer-Songwriter at Height of Her Breakout Period
Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Tapes: Intimate Sonics Make It Seem Like King is Sitting Five Feet Away
Stripped-Down Songs Teem With Warmth, Nuance, Emotion; James Taylor Also Appears
Every so often, a from-the-vault release captures our hearts, minds, and attention in such a way that its impossible not to tell all family, friends, and neighbors about its existence. Originally issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Tapestry, Carole Kings The Carnegie Hall Concert: June 18, 1971 is such a record, a fortunate document of an absolutely magical period in the singer-songwriters legendary career and a revealing look at the then-stagefright artist turning in a commanding performance just as she was becoming a superstar.
Half-speed mastered from the original tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited-edition 180g LP of this compelling concert album brims with liveliness, depth, dimension, detail, and transparency. The nuances of Kings spare performances and warm vocals emanate as if shes sitting five feet away. Stripped down even further than they are on the studio albums, songs breathe with palpable earnestness and emotion, the subtle differences from their more polished studio brethren allowing listeners an insight into Kings creative genius.
At the time of its recording, King still suffered from shyness and who could blame her? She had been accustomed to penning lyrics for other artists and sitting behind a desk in the Brill Building. Only recently did King strike out on her own and enter the public realm. This set encapsulates this contrast in thrilling fashion. Disarmingly genuine and daringly honest, The Carnegie Hall Concert: June 18, 1971 benefits from the inclusion of Kings nervous between-song banter that exposes who she is as a person and performer. Most importantly, despite her anxiety, she turns out stirring renditions of tunes from 1970s Writer, Tapestry, and even a few from Music.
Her control is demonstrated on the records six opening cuts, which feature King alone at her piano. For the remainder of the program, shes accompanied by guitarist Danny Kortchman, bassist Charles Larkey, and a string quartet, which enter and exit according to arrangement. As such, the concert is profoundly intimate and personal, an unplugged session that predated the use of the term by nearly two decades. Longtime collaborator James Taylor joins her for a memorable medley of some of her biggest hitsWill You Love Me Tomorrow/Some Kind of Wonderful/Up on the Roofthe chemistry evident of why the duos 2010 tour was one of the most in-demand outings in years.
Mobile Fidelitys remastered sound ties everything together and is what makes this release extra special. By going to the original source, the audiophile label considerably opens up the sonic perspectives, revealing the spacious acoustics of the famed venue that act in concert with Kings music. In particular, the songs from Writer benefit from the no-nonsense production. You can literally picture Kings piano beside her, and her voice sincere, tender, melodic is rich, full-bodied, and penetrating. Listeners can even hear it crack on occasion, the results a consequence of her nerves. Unpolished and non-synthetic, the performance is better for it.
No, they don't make albums like this anymore. The Carnegie Hall Concert: June 18, 1971 as real as it gets. And so is the sound. Get your collectible copy now!
This title is not eligible for further discount.1.I Feel the Earth Move
3.After All This Time
4.Child of Mine
5.Carry Your Load
6.No Easy Way Down
7.Song of Long Ago
10.So Far Away
11.It's Too Late
13.Way over Yonder
15.You've Got a Friend [Performed with James Taylor]
16.Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?/Some Kind of Wonderful/Up on the Roof [medley; performed with James Taylor]
17.(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Medicine CountryShe may be considered the U.K. garage-rock queen (SPIN), but Holly Golightly has always embraced the sounds of the American south. She followed that muse to the dry, rural county of Madison, Georgia, where she now lives on a farm raising horses, chickens, and the curiosity of her neighbors. Golightly and The Brokeoffs (a.k.a. one-man band and frequent Golightly collaborator Lawyer Dave) recorded their new album Medicine County in an abandoned, recently foreclosed upon church nearby.
Medicine County features twelve new recordings, including eight originals by Golightly and The Brokeoffs, alongside traditional numbers like Blood on the Saddle and Jack ODiamonds. While theres a spectral quality to those traditional songs and others on the album, Golightly offers some levity, and a sharp lyrical wit, on tunes like Eyes in the Back of My Head and the albums title track, a postcard from their new home. Its a testament to the caliber of Golighty and The Brokeoffs writing that the trad numbers consort seamlessly with their originals.
The Washington Post has noted that Holly Golightly can make you believe in past lives and shes lived a few of her own. While Amy Winehouse and Duffy were in grade school, Golightly was fronting girl-group revival harbingers Thee Headcoatees. More recently she has collaborated with groups like The White Stripes and Mudhoney, and in 2005, two of her recordings were featured prominently in the acclaimed Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers. Since 2007, she has performed with The Brokeoffs, a partnership Pitchfork calls heartily ramshackle, and American Songwriter magazine has hailed as genuine, inspired and soulful.1. Forget It
2. Two Left Feet
3. Medicine County
4. Can't Lose
5. Murder In My Mind
6. Blood On The Saddle
7. When He Comes
9. Eyes In the Back of My Head
10. Dearly Departed
11. Don't Fail Me Now
12. Jack ODiamonds$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974-1998As one quarter of one of the most influential bands of the 20th century, Maureen Moe Tuckers work in the Velvet Underground created a template for all rock drummers that followed. Even today, Moes primal, tribal rhythms can be heard in countless songs from artists around the globe. Her no-nonsense style, spare kit, no drum stool, almost no cymbals, conveyed an urgency and an honesty that was the foundation of the bands sound. In a patchouli-soaked world of 20 minute double-bass drum solos, Moe kept it simple, direct and to the point. As Lou Reed put it, Shes the driving force. The hardcore heart of the Velvets mindset.
Following her tenure with VU, Moe emerged as a solo artist, building a body of work that stretched over three decades. Ranging from home recordings to collaborations with members of Sonic Youth, Violent Femmes, Half-Japanese and her former band, the songs cover a gamut of styles but all bear the unmistakable thumbprint of their creator. Released by various independent labels on LPs, EPs, singles and compact discs, collecting her catalog has been a daunting task. This compilation finally gathers those far-flung tracks in one place.
More than just a drummer, Moe is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, bass, sax, keyboards, harmonica and whatever else the song might need. For prime examples of her DIY recording technique, check out her rendition of Chuck Berrys Around and Around from her debut LP Playin Possum. Recording that album at home on a four-track tape recorder allowed Moe to reconnect with her rock roots and eventually led to a return to live performing.
Moving to Douglas, Georgia as a single mother in the early 80s greatly impacted her songwriting. Themes of workaday blues and tough times are reflected in songs like Spam Again and Thats B.A.D. Loss is also a recurring topic, as in Andy, a touching tribute to the late Andy Warhol. However, it is not all darkness and melancholia. Bursts of exuberance in songs like Hey Mersh! and her loving cover of Bo Diddley radiate infectious joy. Moe also faces the VU legacy head on, reinterpreting seminal tracks like Heroin, Im Waiting for the Man, Pale Blue Eyes and Im Sticking with You and making them her own. Of all the former Velvets, Moes solo work is perhaps the most direct continuation of the bands sound and structure. She never lost her love for pure, lean rock and roll.
This collection has been mastered by Sundazeds Bob Irwin and includes notes by David Fricke. Available on three LPs, Sundazed is honored to present this first-ever career anthology for an uncompromising artist of remarkable tenacity and vision.1. Bo Diddley
3. Slippin and Slidin
4. Around and Around
5. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
5. Im Sticking With You
7. Guess Im Falling in Love
9. Hey Mersh!
10. Pale Blue Eyes
12. Talk So Mean (alternate mix)
13. Fired Up (single version)
14. Too Shy (single version)
15. Thats B.A.D.
17. Blue, All the Way to Canada
18. Then He Kissed Me
19. Im Not
20. Im Waiting for the Man
21. Spam Again (live)
22. Crackin Up
23. Ive Seen Into Your Soul
24. Poor Little Fool
25. I Wanna
26. To Know Him is to Love Him
27. Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend
28. After Hours$49.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The MountainThe Heartless Bastards' story starts in Dayton, Ohio, where Erika Wennerstrom found the name on a multiple choice video trivia game at a bar. As a songwriting teenager during a time when GBV and Brainiac were packing local bars and three of the Breeders were still in town, Wennerstrom used to sneak into clubs to check out the scene. I would just see those people, my music heroes, hanging out at the bar like everyone else, she remembers. I could see myself in them. It gave me inspiration to do my own thing. After doing the usual business of playing local shows, the trio set out the following year on a regional tour. One of the first gigs of the trip took them to a bar in Akron, where Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney just happened to be one of only a handful of people in the audience. This chance encounter led Wennerstrom and the Heartless Bastards to Fat Possum Records, with whom they released their debut, Stairs and Elevators, in early 2005.
The band moved on with critical praise in their back pocket, including a four-and-a-half star review from Rolling Stone, which took note that, when Wennerstrom opens her throat on Stairs and Elevators she sounds like shes wailing on the shoulders of giants; her sad and angry vocals channeling all the swagger and spit of a young Robert Plant. All This Time, was released during the summer of 2006, it received even more widespread critical acclaim than Stairs and Elevators. The Bastards played hundreds of shows to support the record. They played huge festivals and toured with Wilco and Lucinda Williams. Wennerstroms songs appeared often on TV shows and in films, this would be measured by most as a huge success. Though in Wennerstroms mind her sound and band were still evolving, and she knew it was time for a change.
In true ascetic discipline, she moved to Austin, Texas in 2007 for a change of inspirational scenery and a new recording project. With the help of producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead), she assembled a group of musicians with whom she gave the songs life and uncovered yet another layer of herself and the Heartless Bastards. The two new Bastards arent Texas ringers, but fellow Dayton brethren Dave Colvin on drums, and Jesse Ebaugh on bass, who actually played on the original demo that hooked Fat Possum. The album, entitled The Mountain, delivers the powerful howl that fans expect from the Heartless Bastards, but also weaves in adventure with mandolins, banjos, strings and Erikas transcendent voice.1. The Mountain
2. Be So Happy
3. Early in the Morning
4. Hold Your Head High
5. Out At Sea
6. Nothing Seems the Same
7. Wide Awake
8. So Quiet
9. Had To Go
10. Witchy Poo
11. Sway$16.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + 7 - Sealed Buy Now
The BladeAshley Monroe spent her childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she immersed herself in all varieties of music ranging from country-she's not-too-distantly related to members of the legendary Carter Family-to rock, pop, rap and even opera. When she was 11, Monroe won a talent contest singing "I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and two years later her father gave Ashley her first guitar. She developed a passion for writing songs, discovering that she could easily communicate her thoughts and sentiments through a six-string and her dynamic, exceptional voice.
In 2008, Ashley cut a highly praised EP with singer-songwriter Trent Dabbs and a few years later, at the invitation of Jack White, she sang background vocals on an album he was producing by the iconic country-rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson. And just to prove how versatile she is, Monroe also contributed vocals to the track "Bruises" on the 2012 album California 37 by the rock band Train.
But one of the most rewarding artistic adventures for Ashley to date has been the Pistol Annies, a trio she co-formed in 2011with her friend Miranda Lambert, whose chart-topping hit "Heart Like Mine" Ashley co-penned, and newcomer Angaleena Presley. Pistol Annies have provided Monroe with yet another outlet for her music. Their album, Hell on Heels, garnered rave reviews. The All Music Guide called the trio "a remarkably democratic supergroup" while veteran music critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A grade, citing its "expertly executed tunes."1. On To Something Good
2. I Buried Your Love Alive
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
11. If The Devil Don't Want Me
13. I'm Good At Leavin'$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sleep Is The EnemyIf there's one thing Danko Jones know how to do at this point, it's how to rock. They did it in We Sweat Blood, and it's exactly what they do again in their fifth full-length album, Sleep Is the Enemy. The formula for both these albums has been pretty consistent: fast power chords with a distorted bass echoing the guitar; loud, driving drums; and vocals that fluctuate from a low growl to a mellifluous croon to a full-out scream. But that doesn't mean the new album is ever boring: there's too much raw emotion and sexual energy to allow anyone even a brief moment to nod off. For the band, this is a very important thing; the name of the record is Sleep Is the Enemy, after all, and the simple, to-the-point choruses are just meant to be shouted along to in packed, sweaty stadiums. Jones himself is all testosterone and bravado and is in great form vocally, expressing his indifference toward a jaded lover in Baby Hates Me, instructing the less confident in when and how to give The Finger, and angrily yelling his plans for revenge in Time Heals Nothing. Yes, the themes here, like they always have been with the band, are women and sex and aggression, which are practically the same thing for Jones, but in Sleep Is the Enemy his willingness to explore the ambiguity of the topics shows his (slightly greater) maturity. In She's Drugs (which contains the fantastically catchy chorus She's drugs, she's drugs/Just one look and you get addicted/She's drugs, she's drugs/You take a look and now you're hooked, that's what I predicted), he chides a friend for being seduced by a dangerous woman, but then in Invisible, he goes on to list a number of extreme things he'll do for another who isn't noticing him (burning his house down, maxing out his credit card, and making his mother cry being three of the least violent examples). Yeah, Sleep Is the Enemy isn't musical genius by any standard, but it is a loud, confident, straightforward, and fun album that skips guitar solos and instrumental frills to focus on what truly matters to Danko Jones: rocking. - Marisa Brown (All Music Guide)1. Sticky Situation
2. Baby Hates Me
3. Don't Fall In Love
4. She's Drugs
5. The Finger
6. First Date
8. Natural Tan
9. When Will I See You
10. Time Heals Nothing
11. Sleep Is The Enemy
12. Choose Me$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Like A RoseAshley Monroe, a member of the critically acclaimed trio Pistol Annies, presents her first Warner Nashville solo album, Like A Rose. Most folks, as soon as they hear Ashley Monroe, instantly recognize one thing: she's the real deal. Her songs resonate so profoundly because they reflect the experiences of an artist who, although she is just 26, has already seen both the best and worst that life has to offer.
Like a Rose has been a long time coming. Monroe has been creating music for more than half of her life-attracting along the way kudos from such music world giants as Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, Vince Gill and Jack White. Her new, full-length album release serves both to fill in the back-story and impart to us who she is today. At times her songs are dead serious, at others utterly hilarious, but always Monroe is an original with a compelling story to share.
Monroe spent her childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she immersed herself in all varieties of music ranging from country-she's not-too-distantly related to members of the legendary Carter Family-to rock, pop, rap and even opera. When she was 11, Monroe won a talent contest singing "I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and two years later her father gave Ashley her first guitar. She developed a passion for writing songs, discovering that she could easily communicate her thoughts and sentiments through a six-string and her dynamic, exceptional voice.
One of the most rewarding artistic adventures for Ashley to date has been the Pistol Annies, a trio she co-formed in 2011 with her friend Miranda Lambert, whose chart-topping hit "Heart Like Mine" Ashley co-penned, and newcomer Angaleena Presley. Pistol Annies have provided Monroe with yet another outlet for her music. Their album, Hell on Heels, garnered rave reviews. The All Music Guide called the trio "a remarkably democratic supergroup" while veteran music critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A grade, citing its "expertly executed tunes."
Despite her list of previous accomplishments, everything she's done so far feels like it's been pointing the way toward Like a Rose. With songs that run the gamut from feel-good to controversial to contemplative, the album, produced by country music titan Vince Gill, offers the full range of Ashley Monroe's songwriting and performing skills. To maintain the honesty of Ashley's songs, Gill and the singer chose to record the album the way most of the greatest albums ever were made: sans gimmickry. "We just got the band in a circle and started playing the songs," Ashley says, "and once we felt like we had a feel for it, I'd do my vocal live-I never went back in to do a second vocal. Everyone put everything we had into the songs. There was a buzz in the room. We all had fun-it felt like a big old family, the way records used to be made."
Some of the songs were newly written for the album; others date back several years and felt right to revisit. The semi-autobiographical title track, one of the uncontestable highlights of the set, was co-written about six years ago with another totem of the American song-crafting community, Texan legend Guy Clark.
One song that is bound to raise some eyebrows refers to the same favored flower of the title tune, but in a much different sense: "Weed Instead of Roses" tells of a woman's desire to get a gift she actually desires from her beau, not just something that smells good.
"You Got Me" was co-written by Monroe and Karen Fairchild. Says Ashley, "It's about an addiction to something-one thing or another, whether you're stuck in a bad relationship or alcohol or whatever it is-and you try to hide it and fight it but you're kind of saying, 'Alright, you got me.'
On a more light-hearted note is "Monroe Suede," based on "a slick character that tries to get away all the time." Another is the self-explanatory "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)," a duet featuring Lambert's husband, CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton. "Morning After" confronts that uneasy feeling that often follows a too-good time and "She's Driving Me Out Of Your Mind," written with Jon Randall Stewart, comes straight from one of Ashley's many journals. "Two Weeks Late" was suggested by singer-songwriter Shane McAnally, who co-wrote it with Monroe. "He came in and said, 'I heard this phrase at the ATM: I'm a dollar short and two weeks late.' That was another one that just fell out. I grabbed the guitar and we started writing it up.
"Used," another standout, is an update of a song that appeared on Monroe's Satisfied album. "It came to me when I was about 17 and my manager at the time had just bought me this old 1950s Gibson guitar," she says. It came into my mind that things are worth more used, and I thought about my mom, who had lost my dad when she was 38. I was thinking, she had two kids, she's been through a lot, and, bless her heart, it's all gonna be worth it. Vince and I worked up this new version, which made it fresh for me."
And fresh it all is. Like a Rose avoids the trappings of too much contemporary music by sticking to the basics: memorable songs, incredible musicians, a superb voice, all of it captured honestly and without frills. As the saying goes, sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. Take a whiff of Like a Rose and you'll find it smells pretty darn sweet.1. Like A Rose
2. Two Weeks Late
4. Weed Instead of Roses
5. You Got Me
6. The Morning After
7. Monroe Suede
8. She's Driving Me Out Of Your Mind
9. You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter) ft. Blake Shelton$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now