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Margo Price - All American Made (Album Review)

Friday, 27 October 2017 Written by Jacob Brookman

With the USA’s public intensely divided, album titles featuring the word ‘American’ may have increased appeal owing to their unifying effect. Thus, in 2017 we’ve had ‘American Teen’ (Khalid), ‘american dream’ (LCD Soundsystem) and now we have ‘All American Made’ -  the second album from Nashville singer Margo Price.

It’s 12 tracks of elegant, political country music with genteel shuffling drums, long hanging vocal phrases and folksy philosophy. It presents an artist looking for straight answers to difficult questions in a social environment devastated by misogyny.

“Don’t say you love me when you treat me this way,” she offers up on the album opener. 'All American Made' is direct, intelligent and forward thinking in a genre that is often tediously regressive.

Standout songs include the groovy Do Right By Me, with powerful call and response vocals that present a simple, working class moralism.

“I knew I had to get away so I left that one horse town," she sings. "Ain't much for a girl to do except get knocked up and settle down / The only dream some people have is to win the lottery / If you don't do right by yourself, do right by me.” But this stanza also identifies a slight weakness in the album: a capacity to relax into cliché that makes it a bit of a prisoner to the genre.

Elsewhere we have the powerful ballad Loner, written by Price’s husband, guitarist and co-writer, Jeremy Ivey, which shows off her skill for soaring vocals and patient, nimble melodies. Again, it is the lyrical storytelling that is front and centre: “What's the matter with being a loner? / Even a nobody's somebody, too. / Even the bums on the street are just dreamers / A face in the crowd no different than you.”

It has a purposeful intensity to it that is only matched on the closer, All American Made, which features a soundscape of vocal recordings of US presidents that recalls Simon & Garfunkel’s version of Silent Night.

Margo Price Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed November 08 2017 - LONDON Lexington

Click here to compare & buy Margo Price Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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