Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
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  1. Jan 13, 2023
    100
    Price’s fantastic fourth album, Strays, advances boldly into terrain occupied by such exalted US rock craftsmen as Jackson Browne and Tom Petty, with soulful vocal swagger, a widescreen band sound and a poetic lyrical depth that should leave most of her Nashville peers prostrate at her feet.
  2. Jan 10, 2023
    90
    From the empathetic lyrics to the innovative eclecticism, Margo Price has stitched a musical coat of many colours with Strays. And it's a perfect fit for this troubled age.
  3. Jan 9, 2023
    90
    Strays reveals Price’s strong talents as a musician and a human being.
  4. Jan 20, 2023
    80
    Even if the record had been inevitable, it didn’t have to be so engaging; fortunately, it is.
  5. 80
    Price breaks down any barriers left around her on this record to great appeal. In just 10 songs, she manages to tell a lifetime of stories that are captivating from start to finish.
  6. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    Strays brilliantly rattles through country, psych and Patti Smith-style poetic rock’n’roll.
  7. Jan 12, 2023
    80
    A remarkable talent, this is an album to cherish.
  8. 80
    It’s sonically brave and lyrically obstinate, a rare delight that stands out from its counterparts.
  9. Jan 12, 2023
    80
    On the album’s closing track, “Landfill,” Price sings, “They say ‘it takes time to become timeless’/But time is all I’ve got this time.” Every bit of Strays—the excellence in lyricism, instantly classic riffs, the soul-bearing warmth Price exudes—is a testament to that and to the fact that our need to see each other wholly, empathetically is of eternal importance.
  10. Jan 12, 2023
    80
    Sharp, incisive songwriting remains at the heart of her music, allowing Price to weave different sounds and rhythms into her probing, emotionally open songs.
  11. Jan 10, 2023
    80
    Despite its scattershot title and the fact that it was recorded in five separate studios across Nashville and California, Strays feels like Price’s most cohesive collection yet guided by light West Coast shadings courtesy of Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Dawes). Price finds ways to effectively and subtly tease out different shades from her longtime versatile band, the Price Tags.
  12. Uncut
    Jan 9, 2023
    80
    With this devastatingly personal song cycle, Price completes her transformation from retro-country preservationist to anything-goes auteur. [Feb 2023, p.35]
  13. 80
    Strays adds heady organ grooves and hypnotic southern rock to her band’s considerable chops. ... And throughout, her mountain stream of a voice retains its country authority, even when she’s writing a pop tune.
  14. Jan 9, 2023
    80
    Muted, syncopated beats, ghostly pedal steel and icy Solina string machine conspire to create the effect of a slow-motion scene: unwanted debris blowing away in the wind, with our stronger and more resolved singer standing at the centre of the wreckage. Even amid the ashes of her past, it seems, Margo Price keeps burning ever more brightly. [Feb 2023, p.80]
  15. 80
    While her vocals ground her in a country vein, her sonic contexts borrow from and integrate blues-rock, classic-rock, and pop sounds. The result is her most freewheeling sequence to date.
  16. Jan 11, 2023
    78
    The result is familiar—it’s undeniably a Margo Price record—but a little extra fiery.
  17. Jan 13, 2023
    74
    While she’s writing less about the details of her own experience, her music still speaks to life’s murky specifics.
  18. Jan 17, 2023
    70
    Strays becomes a more consistently enjoyable experience as the album progresses. If there’s a sense in the album’s first four tracks that Price felt pressure to write an obvious radio hit, on the remainder of the album she tunes out outside pressures and luxuriates in the space she has carved out for herself; subverting sonic expectations, rewarding listener patience, and penning affecting character studies and vignettes.
  19. Jan 9, 2023
    60
    Strays continues in the classic rock-inspired direction of 2020’s That’s How Rumors Get Started, breaking from the neo-traditional country music that put Price on the map. The arrangements employ slide guitar and keyboards—even xylophone on “Time Machine”—with a punchy yet spacious mix, but the album flaunts its influences a bit too transparently.