Ashley McBryde: ‘The Devil I Know’ Album Review

Ashley McBryde’s brand new album, The Devil I Know is out now, September 8th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new music below.

One year ago, the talented singer-songwriter, Ashley McBryde, released Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, a fourteen-track record about fictional characters in a fictional town. It was well-received by critics, being nominated for a GRAMMY, and showcased the Arkansas-native’s creativity. The Devil I Know is another project that embodies McBryde’s strong songwriting capabilities and her ability to capture listeners’ ears with humor, raw emotion, and vivid attention to detail. 

The album opens with the up beat “Made For This;” a reflection of the singer’s experience on the road with her band. She mentions that the alcohol and Adderall lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but when God gives you a once in a lifetime opportunity, you better take it. In the title track, the singer addresses the criticisms she often receives from her peers. She shrugs off these stamps of disapproval, knowing that there’s evil everywhere you turn, so you might as well stick with the ones that are familiar. The first chorus is McBryde’s demo version, which is followed by a rocking transition with heavy electric guitar and percussion. 

“Momma says, get my ass to church // Daddy says, get my ass to work // Doctor says I gotta give up on these smokes // Everybody’s got something to say // About how I gotta change my ways // But I got something to say of my own // Hell, there’s hell everywhere I go // I’m just sticking with the devil I know”

“Light On In The Kitchen” is McBryde’s fastest rising single of her career thus far, currently approaching the top 25. Written with Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, the lyrics are inspired by the life lessons she received from her mother when she was young. The sentimental, black-and-white music video was shot in her childhood home and features old, grainy videos from her past. 

“Honey, trust yourself // You better love yourself // ‘Cause ’til you do you ain’t no good for anybody else // And honey, boys are dumb // But you’re gonna to find you one // Love him hard, bless your heart // When you need someone to listen // That’s why I leave the light on in the kitchen”

“Single At The Same Time” is a classic “right person, wrong time” story. Although she is happy with the life she has now, she continues to wonder what could’ve been. “Learned To Lie” is another vulnerable song in which the singer reflects on her past, recalling all the lies her parents told each other. She wishes that was one trait she didn’t pick up and master. This track ends with an electric and powerful guitar solo.   

“I, I learned to cry // Quietly, I learned to pray // Silently, inside a house where the Devil played // And I, hate that it runs in my blood // I hate how easy it comes // I wish I’d learned how to love the same way I // learned to Lie”

A country record is incomplete without some drinking songs. “Cool Little Bars” is an ode to those ‘hole-in-wall’ dives that provide a safe space for common folk with broken hearts. Fellow country star, Lainey Wilson, co-wrote this track with McBryde. “Whiskey and Country Music” is showered with keys, steel guitar, and simple percussion. The singer admits she’s tried everything from meditation to medication, but nothing takes the edge off like whiskey and classic country music when she’s getting over a relationship. 

“Just pass me a bottle, and I won’t refuse it // Put Patsy on vinyl, and good lord, I lose it”

The two songs with “whiskey” in the title are very different in both sound and subject matter. “Women Ain’t Whiskey” is targeted at the men who disrespect women. The singer is sick and tired of feeling like 80 proof alcohol—only hit up when the other is lonely, and moving on once the bottle is empty. 

The album ends with the rocking “Blackout Betty” and the easy-going “6th of October.” In the former, it seems like the singer is giving advice to this woman named Betty who continues to make irresponsible decisions. After the second chorus, the listeners realize “Blackout Betty” is just the singer’s drunk alter-ego; perhaps a play-on Ram Jam’s top-20 hit, “Black Betty.” The latter is a much simpler melody over an acoustic guitar where the singer reminds listeners to go with the flow, embrace their past, and be proud of who you are. 

McBryde has certainly solidified herself as one of Nashville’s most notable and exciting artists. Her journey to stardom has been marked by perseverance and a deep commitment to her craft. Whether she’s depicting a true tale, or one completely fabricated, she tells it with such passion that is personal not only to her, but to her audience of all types country music fans. 

The Devil I Know Track List:

  1. Made for This (Ashley McBryde and Travis Meadows)
  2. Coldest Beer in Town (McBryde, Autumn McEntire and Nicolette Hayford)
  3. Light on in the Kitchen (McBryde, Jessi Alexander and Connie Harrington)
  4. Women Ain’t Whiskey (McBryde, Hillary Lindsey, Jon Nite and Chris LaCorte)
  5. Learned to Lie (McBryde, Hayford and Sean McConnell)
  6. The Devil I Know (McBryde, Jeremy Stover and Bobby Pinson)
  7. Single at the Same Time (McBryde, Benjy Davis and Andy Albert)
  8. Cool Little Bars (McBryde, Trick Savage and Lainey Wilson)
  9. Whiskey and Country Music (McBryde, John Osborne and Lee Thomas Miller)
  10. Blackout Betty (McBryde, Aaron Raitiere and Hayford)
  11. 6th of October (McBryde, Blue Foley and CJ Field)

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Made For This
  2. The Devil I Know
  3. Blackout Betty

Ashley McBryde’s new album ‘The Devil I Know,” is out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Ashley McBryde announcements and releases.

To keep up with Ashley McBryde follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Devil I Know available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.