Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
After the 2016 blockbuster release Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, the questions naturally come up: “Was it just the case of a one-time wonder?” “Will there be a sophomore jinx?” “Can Margo Price build on something that already seems like a skyscraper?” Let me be the first (maybe second) person to say: “Margo Price delivers!!!” It is a four song EP, I know. But the quality of the songs are so daggum good, that all trends are pointing up.
Weakness has a very strong psychedelic streak running though it. These songs are airy, dreamy, and 1,000% country. It is as if Margo melded the country music of Kentucky with the twang and looseness of Laurel Canyon. There are very dreamy guitars throughout also with some very haunting and spacey fiddles. These instruments would sound at home during a marathon Dark Star (Grateful Dead reference). Way to go Miss Price!
The first song also happens to share the name of the album. Weakness is the makings of a classic. The music is absolutely sublime and the words are truly profound. I mean like Dylan profound. And the song almost never happened. Especially the first line “Sometimes I’m Virginia Wolf, Sometimes I’m James Dean.” This is an awesome line. Let’s read what Margo said about the song and the 1st line from a recent NPR interview:
“It started out as just a poem that I wrote one day, or one night — I think it might have been a late-night scribble in my notebook. And my husband just found the first couple lines. I had written, ‘Sometimes I’m Virginia Woolf / Sometimes I’m James Dean.’ … It’s probably something that nobody would have heard, had it not been for him going back through my notebook and telling me what was salvageable and what was not. … We’re always very critical of each other. So if something’s good, we tell each other that it’s good, and if something’s s***, then we toss it out the window.
“I definitely feel the counterplay of feeling like — sometimes things feel really nice, as far as where we’re at now. But there still is pain and temptation and all of these things that kind of make up a human.”
Can you say serendipity? It was meant to be. Besides the first line, the chorus is absolutely thought provoking and jaw dropping. “Sometimes my weakness is stronger than me.” That is a brilliant line up there with the proverbs of Benny Franklin. What a strong statement for just seven words! To quote Geoffrey Lennox from Fear Of A Black Hat, “That’s heavy!”
The EP gets much more spacey and psychedelic after the first track. It’s like going down the hill of a roller coaster, it is exciting and exhilarating. Just Like Love (Track 2) is a country psychedelic number that has a a vibe to it like Ghost Riders In The Sky. Paper Cowboy (Track 3) is another WOW! This song is splendid! The final song on this EP is a beautiful, atmospheric tear jerker. Good Luck (For Ben Eyestone) is a tribute to drummer Ben Eyestone, who recently passed away. I literally did well up on this song.
If there was any doubt about Margo Price’s staying power, they have been put to bed. This is a four song EP that plays like an album. All four songs are masterpieces in the making. I don’t usually write a review this long about an EP, but Weakness is different. You’ll see!