CD Review: Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed
Antony Bailey for Country Music News International
The Grammy-award winning country-pop songwriter Kacey Musgraves’ fifth album titled ‘Star-Crossed’ is a tantalizing treat transcending all musical tastes. The immersive album captures a sound evocative of personal tragedy and chaos. Nevertheless, it blends with a beacon of hope leaning towards a fresh start as there is a narrative surrounding heartbreak after what has been a tumultuous time for herself personally.
‘Star-Crossed’ is the first track on Musgraves’ newly released album and at times appears pensive with the lyrical content as she looks to recover from the devastation that has occurred in her personal life. The music itself is best described as atmospheric, ambient, and futuristic – especially with the first line of the song where she sings ‘’Let me set the scene/Two lovers ripped right at the seams’’ grips the audience instantly with the music delving deep into the future as it empowers and embraces the inevitable changes that happen throughout life.
The second track continues to push a sombre narrative as Musgraves’ sings about being a ‘Good Wife’ and the unenviable task of being there to support someone through their lowest ebb. ‘’Touch him so he knows in his heart he’s the only one’’ is conveyed in a sense that would suggest she is in a room alone crying and expressing her grief. The song is backed by atmospheric ambience and dashed with a sprinkling Auto-Tune to add more of an intimate yet cold sensation to the music.
‘Cherry Blossom’ is much like the opening tracks on the album with an atmospheric and ambient approach to the music. The lyrics include ‘’I’m your cherry blossom baby, don’t let blow away’’ and it is beautifully sung in falsetto as it showcases her diversified approach to an album that traverses multiple musical genres.
‘Simple Times’ enables Musgraves to express her deep sorrow and ultimately reveal how deflated she is with adult life. Lyrics along the lines of ‘’I need to step away/being grown up kinda sucks’’ reaffirms those sorrowful sentiments. The song reveals her strong desire to return to simpler times such as when she was a teenager living a much more carefree and innocent life as a small-town Texan.
Musgraves’ stamps her name firmly on the country music scene with ‘Breadwinner’ as she sings about a destructive and abusive partner who ultimately wants to take and offer very little in return. ‘’He wants a breadwinner/He wants your dinner/Until he ain’t hungry anymore’’ is sang in the chorus and reflects on past relationships that have simply gone sour over time.
The acoustic heart-wrenching track titled ‘Hookup Scene’ ponders the heart-breaking aftermath of a shattered relationship as she sings about holding on to relationships that are worth fighting for because the single life really isn’t what it is cracked up to be. ‘’If you’ve got someone to love and you’ve almost given up/ Hold on tight/ Cause you might not even know you didn’t have it so bad’’ reoccurs along with two-part harmony to add the distressing image captured throughout the song.
The album is certainly worth purchasing and adding to the collection as the Grammy-award winning Texan shares her personal experiences with a worldwide audience that will undoubtedly be able resonate with each and every word on each track. The music grabs the listeners attention by offering a glimmer of hope that love will prevail – yet the lyrics send mixed messages and simply don’t let go until the album reaches its full gut-wrenching conclusion.