Review: Margo Price Expands Her Mind and Sound with ‘Strays II’

Margo Price
Strays II
Loma Vista Recordings

Videos by American Songwriter

4.5 out of 5 stars

Singer/songwriter Margo Price takes listeners through a trippy, reflective journey in the engaging sonic expansion of her 2022 record, Strays. The collection of nine new tracks finds the celebrated artist offering three additional acts centered around specific lyrical themes.

Act I with the record’s title track, which looks back on the early moments shared between Price and her now-husband Jeremy Ivey. The following two tracks—”Closer I Get” featuring Ny Oh and “Malibu” with producer Jonathan Wilson and Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek—offer intimate glimpses into their relationship dynamic. Instead of shying away from love’s difficulties, Price provides an unfiltered and authentic look at the dynamics of trying to grow individually and together.

In Act II, Price’s psychedelic influences come to the forefront through the lyrics of “Mind Travel” and the Wilson collaboration “Unoriginal Sin.” The mysterious, slow-rolling groove of “Black Wolf Blues,” combined with her hazy examinations of characters from her past, melds into a captivating soundscape.

Loma Vista Recordings

The final act of Strays II finds the record’s retro-inspired groove building to a bold, engulfing end. Price’s ability to mesh elements from rock, soul, country, and beyond to craft her own modernized yet classic sound shines on tracks like “Where Did We Go Wrong.” Although the project is a departure from the traditional country sound of her early albums, every song feels authentic and distinctly her own. Her unapologetic, defiant spirit comes in full force on the record’s blazing final track, “Burn Whatever’s Left.”

Few artists could take on a project as expansive and commercially unconventional as this, but Price is, thankfully, unlike most artists. As a now-completed double album, Strays serves as Price’s magnum opus, showcasing her deeply rooted talents as an innovative artist and songwriter.

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen, Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

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