Album Review: Margo Price – All American Made

Alex Album Review, Headlines

Leave it to the utmost professionals Margo & the Price Tags to flout the second album maxims. Indeed, “All American Made” sounds like the album of an artist much deeper into their career than most of us know Margo to be. For the 50,000 of us who entered the fold with a purchase of her stellar 2016 debut “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter”, Willie Nelson’s endorsement in the form of an appearance may not seem so outrageous. But for newcomers who have duly noticed that Price is neither an albums chart juggernaut nor a country radio mainstay, I beseech you: trust Willie’s judgement! Not just any old country crooner gets a full solo from Trigger on their album.

So, what did we expect from her timely sophomore set, just eighteen months after her first release? Certainly not a nose-dive – 34-year-old Margo Price has a whole career’s worth of songs behind her, it’s just taken her a while to deliver them to us. Margo and the Price Tags are seasoned, gritty professionals with much more to say than could be found on her sleeper hit debut. She blasts into these twelve new tracks with the pacey ‘Don’t Say It’, almost as though Midwest Farmer’s Daughter never ended, and there lies the worst thing this album can be accused of being; a more-of-the-same affair.

“Familiar” would not be an incorrect description of the album’s sound, as the deliciously authentic live recorded texture remains. Somebody, somewhere along the line will listen once, and assume she’s playing it safe this time around, yet any deeper examination will confirm this not the case. Full of a mindful candour, Price’s poetic musings on working class life, being female and her personal hardships hit hard, IF you listen. She doesn’t force her opinions on anyone, and you won’t taste their juice if you don’t sink your teeth deep enough. Her brutal deadpan is far from a worn-out party trick, and more than makes up for the arguably retrograde, cornered-market instrumentation package that each song is presented in.
Each topic is approached with identical aplomb, no matter how much or how little cocaine is involved. The juxtaposition of Price’s croon and major chords against her biting lyrics “being born is a curse, dyin’ young’s worse…” is a late-tracklist sucker punch, yet far from the first. Then finally, she revisits her Buffalo Clover days for the album’s titular song – not quite as patriotic as its name suggests. Here, she can be far more critical of the United States than perhaps any single one of her peers. Despite some “controversial” statements, like the slightly less subtle ‘Pay Gap’ lyric “women do work and get treated like slaves since 1776!”, it’s hard not to love the lilting Western accordion and the decelerated tempo of its choruses, rounding up a gentle tune representative of those that surround it. Referencing her great nation’s year of independence in a way that’s sure to ruffle some feathers is not something that Luke Bryan or Carrie Underwood could get away with, yet Price probably hasn’t even noticed she’s done it, because it is surely indistinguishable from her real-time thoughts.

“All American Made” is not all bleak… On ‘Wild Women’, she confesses that she feels she has something to lose, a powerful sentiment from Third Man Records’ first ever country signing. This album deserves every sale, and it’s a blessing Jack White took her on. She’s the best at what she does, and she’s just served us a layer cake of an album. Plenty to chew on between now and her main stage appearance at C2C Festival in March 2018.

  Track List
  1. Don’t Say It
  2. Weakness
  3. A Little Pain
  4. Learning to Lose (featuring Willie Nelson)
  5. Pay Gap
  6. Nowhere Fast
  7. Cocaine Cowboys
  8. Wild Women
  9. Heart of American
  10. Do Right By Me
  11. Loner
  12. All American Made


More Information

Birthday

14th April, 1983


Home Town

Buffalo Prairie, Illinois



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About the Author

Alex

I'm Alex, 21 and from Greenwich, home of C2C! A lifetime lover and player of music, I got into Country during my early teens and I've been hooked ever since. I want to be part of the new and exciting UK Country movement, heighten exposure, and show people just how great the genre can be.