BY DREW LACOUTURE
Margo Price’s long career as a rising singer pays off in her honest and well-crafted debut “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.” Thanks to an enormous amount of class and talent, this Nashville native might just win a lot of nay-sayers of country music over.
Margo, in eleven tracks, has plenty to say about her diverse subject matter.
“Hands of Time” opens up the album gorgeously with a personal narrative of her life, “Weekender” tells a hilarious story of a short sentence at a county jail and “About to Find Out” rants about people with unearned confidence. These songs along with the others are not entirely original, but Price’s wit and spin on them make them fresh.
Not only this, but Price is a genuine artist and this record sounds like it is exactly the way she wanted it to be. The second verse on “World’s Biggest Loser” when she says “I lost my way, I lost my youth, there’s not much more I have to lose, I’m losing faith with all my strife, If I lost you I’d lose my life,” needs to be applauded.
These tracks would be just decent if it was not for Price’s performance. She clearly has attitude, but there is sensitivity in her voice. She is not the most dynamic singer, but the broken hearted “Since You Put Me Down” really displays her talent for inflections and different tones. She decides to show off her range during the final minute of “Tennessee Song” and it really pays off.
Price’s backup band, the cleverly titled Pricetags, do a stellar job complementing her and saucing up some great guitar and piano solos. The best set of solos is on “Four Years of Chance” that also has a great drum groove. The song structures become quite predictable. Every guitar solo follows the second chorus with a bridge from Price following that.
Every track here is well produced as well, giving the album a very live esthetic. This is assisted by several minor details from the piano, guitar, and strings that almost seemed improvised “Hurtin’ (On the Bottle)”, something that you rarely find in recorded music period.
With all of the praise this album deserves there is a glaring flaw. This record sadly falls into the trap of making the last track (“Desperate and Depressed” in this case) the final track. This track would have been a nice break from the more upbeat tracks.
If Chris Stapleton is country’s modern day throwback, Margo Price might be the female equivalent. However, these artists are not just meant for purists. They can be listened to by just about anybody looking for great music. Price does not need to prove she is country and her seamless music shows this.
If a world of music existed when only traditional country and country-pop existed, then Margo Price blended these two almost perfectly. Catchy hooks, corky songwriting, and just the amount of accessibility and authenticity come together to create a must have record. Country fans need to check this record out and even those who do not enjoy country should definitely give it a try.
The Flyer gives “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” a 9/10.