Ashley Monroe, ‘Weed Instead of Roses’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Songs like Ashley Monroe's 'Weed Instead of Roses' are a litmus test for how politically incorrect country radio programmers are willing to be. Can you promote smoking pot on the radio? It's been done before, albeit more subtly. Monroe's verses cover it up with whipped cream, chains and lingerie. This isn't your mama's country music.
Actually, it sort of is. The Pistol Annies' singer is as traditional as any active female solo artist, and her most recent album 'Like a Rose' is a modern day lesson in "your mama's country." Even women like Loretta Lynn recorded songs that made the establishment gasp and then dab their brows with a hankie. This is the next generation.
"Baby we've been together for a long, long time / You get home from work and then we just turn out the lights / Lately I've been dreaming you in leather, me in lace / Let's put up the teddy bears, and get out the whips and chains," Monroe sings to begin this uptempo cut.
'Weed Instead of Roses' is the type of song that exposes hypocrisy. Those who feign outrage may have a few green secrets of their own. Sure, we don't want kids thinking it's alright to smoke marijuana ... blah, blah, blah. There's probably a lot of things you don't want your kids doing in this song, actually. This is one for the grownups to celebrate, and it feels oh-so-satisfying to do just that.
"Give me weed instead of roses / Bring me whiskey instead of wine / Every puff, every shot, you're looking better all the time / I don't need a card from Hallmark / Box of candy, heaven knows / Give me weed instead of roses / Let's see where it goes."
Credit Sally Barris, Jon McElroy and Monroe for this naughty moment. Credit Monroe's label for having the stones to release it as a single. Mostly credit this talented singer with taking a risk at a time when so many artists -- especially female artists -- are playing it safe.
Key Lyrics: "Go call your no good brother / We both know what he's been growing / I'll be waiting with the whipped cream / And baby let's get going"
Did You Know?: Monroe is engaged to Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks. If this song becomes a hit, expect people to become very interested in that relationship.
Listen to Ashley Monroe, 'Weed Instead of Roses'