Ashley Monroe | Rosegold Review
By Bea Willis
Ashley Monroe is a Knoxville, Tenn., native with a vocal flair that encompasses her own style with Patsy Cline and fellow East Tennessean Dolly Parton. In 2000, her father died suddenly, and after two years of grieving, Monroe convinced her mother to move with her to Nashville to wholeheartedly pursue her career. A year after moving to Nashville, she secured a publishing deal with Wrensong Music, which led to a management deal and eventually a Sony Nashville recording contract at the age of 17. Her 2013 solo album, Like A Rose, features many popular songs, including the title cut and “Weed Instead Of Roses.” Monroe’s latest album, Rosegold, was written and recorded over the past two years and reflects the Grammy-nominated Nashville star pushing past her comfort zone. Her new sound pulls from Kanye West and Kid Cudi to Beck and The Beach Boys.
“Siren” has a dancefloor vibe with layers of lush vocal harmonies atop dreamy, synthesized soundscapes and sensual, exhilarating beats. Monroe sings the multiple layers with style and class, and the chorus has an interesting harmonic progression. There is still a country overtone in her singing, but this is mainly a pop song. Though the songwriting still retains the intricate Nashville trademarks of twists and turns. Monroe pulls a complete 180 showing she has many sides and personalities for fans to discover.
“Til It Breaks” has a funky western meets 50s rock/pop feel with luscious vocals from Monroe. With a penchant for bittersweet lyrics of heartbreak and loss, the melody hits all the right emotional notes. The various styles do not eschew Monroe’s country roots so much as it looks right past them, allowing Monroe to incorporate the full spectrum of her musical influences. The vocal harmonies and counterpoint in the song’s second half are stunning.
Rosegold is Monroe flexing her sonic strength in various genres intertwined with her country tinge. Far more than a 180 in direction, Monroe shows her vocal skills with intricate vocal harmonies, crafty melody singing, and emotional delivery in a different setting. She brings it all home. Her tone, phrasing, and interpretations are what make Rosegold a keeper.
Release Date: January 27, 2022
Label: Mountainrose Sparrow, LLC