The vast, competitive force that is the American country music establisment can seem overwhelming, if not intimidating. It’s hard to make it, but when an artist does, a life-long career path is pretty much presented to that individual. Or at least, that’s how it seems.
Nashville, Tennessee wunderkind Margo Price belongs to this category of artists. Her acclaimed LP ‘All American Made’ from 2017 was named number one Country/Americana by several music magazine giants. The country star also claimed her first Grammy nomination in the Best New Artist category.
But, it has not all been plain sailing, quite far from it. The singer has seen and dealt with enough challenges in her own and other people’s lives. But true to form, and much to her credit, she chose to tackle some of these difficult times by writing some glorious songs, adding an extra touch of authenticity and honesty.
With what seems like an ongoing ambition to reinvent and widen the genre, the third project sees Price take further steps to modify her sound and embrace stilistic diversity, showing her love of rock and roll while satisfying any cravings for melody. The vibrant first two tracks ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’ and ‘Letting Me Down’ work as ideal openers. Immediately followed by the raucous Led Zeppelin inspired rhythm and riffage of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’. Depicting the rough and sometimes harsh side of life on the road, the song act as critical commentary on what Price perceives as an illusory idea of success.
Nashville Friends Gospel Choir elevates the track ‘Hey Child’ in a special moment, while the pacy ‘Heartless Mind’ is an impatient, but energetic couple of minutes. ‘What Happened To Our Love’ exhibits nostalgia through rock layers and ‘70s riffs create veritable sonics. The radiant pop injection of ‘Gone To Stay’ sees things in perspective. The singer reflects on the passing of time and her role of being a mother. “You’re growing up so fast and I’m getting older too. I’ve made mistakes. Yeah I’m living proof of that.”
Margo Price manages to balance the challenging act of making the most of the Nashville experience without allowing herself to get sucked into it. ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’ shows that it’s possible to stay true to the genre but also engage in light touch experimentation and pursue other interests. This is why she is in it for the long haul.
Words: Susan Hansen
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