Margo Price All American Made
Anyone who follows Americana upstart Margo Price on Twitter knows she’s politically outspoken. It’s no surprise then that her second solo album, All American Made, offers trenchant but sympathetic societal commentary. On the accordion-smudged tropical twang of “Pay Gap,” Price minces no words singing about gender-based wage inequalities: “But in the eyes of rich white men/No more than a maid to be owned like a dog.” The title track, meanwhile, wrestles with the enduring duality of America—self-inflicted political anxieties mingling with the inherent optimism of possibility—with impressive nuance.
With nods to slow-burning Southern rock, soulful R&B and laid-back funk, All American Made also demonstrates marked musical growth from her 2016 debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. “Learning to Lose” is a sparse country duet with Willie Nelson that laments personal and systemic oppression. “A Little Pain”—a song reconciling hard work with relationship stresses—features shirred string arrangements. And the McCrary Sisters add gospel flourishes to “Do Right by Me,” which doubles as Price’s plea for people to keep striving and respect their own dreams—and others’.