Sometimes (and it’s rare), you come across music that even
as a reviewer you find difficult to write about and analyse. This comes about
from that music being just so damn good
that words fail you as to why that may be. This is one of those times, and I
take my hat off to Ashley Monroe (and her producer, Vince Gill), for
constructing such a magnificent piece of sonic beauty.
Perhaps that sounds over-the-top, but from the first listen,
the modern bluegrass laments of Alison Krauss can he heard to have heavily
inspired this track, particularly in aspects of the dobro. The multiple layers
of stringed instrument parts (that includes, by the sounds of it, a full
orchestra string section) provide the ammunition for a rush of the senses, both
haunting and comforting. Building as the song progresses, the musical
accompaniment to Ashley’s trademark quivering vocals perfectly complements
them, and forms a solid basis for lyrics about destructive and perhaps
addictive love. Highlighting these emotions and feelings by using metaphors,
Ashley sings of coming storms, mountains, raging fire and flying, matching the notion
of epic space that is created in the music. The object of her affection is a secret,
a lie, an excuse; a craving that she must always give into “you’re getting good
at making me feel nothing, while I’m hurtin’ everyone”. Ultimately, he is bad
news, but she cannot help herself.
There are plenty of songs about this topic, yet none are
done which such eloquence as displayed here. Despite the ridiculously high
quality of music Ashley has created for her latest album ‘Like A Rose’, this
track is by far my favorite, and I couldn’t have been happier when they
released it to radio. It’s one of those songs that you couldn’t get tired of.
Everything is perfectly in place; the drums delicately provide a beat low in
the mix and nothing else; the often-neglected dobro leads, giving the song its
distinct character; the vocals are full of emotion, yet they remain understated
and slave to the powerful string section; other guitars are present but barely
audible, making for a nice change from what of much we hear on country radio.
While all music is a matter of aesthetics, and I tend to lean very slightly to
the left of mainstream country on my preferences, I don’t think anyone can deny
the artistry here, and perhaps fans of big country rock stars like Kenny
Chesney and Jason Aldean may surprise themselves when they listen.
I sincerely hope this track receives the promotion it
deserves, because if not it’ll be the greatest shame. Listen to ‘You Got Me’
below and BUY