by Brandon Enyeart
Kacey Musgraves is another one of those artists who hit the ball so far out of the park with her first album that it would seem nearly impossible that she could replicate that with their sophomore release. Same Trailer Different Park was the breath of fresh air that country music desperately needed in a genre dominated by recycled melodies, subject material and indistinct voices (a far cry from the country music I grew up with). Her Anti-Southern Belle, southern charm immediately grabbed my attention and it didn’t take long before I started calling myself a fan. It goes without saying that I have been looking forward to Pageant Material for a while now, but with that said, I also worried about the dreaded sophomore slump. To be honest, I almost expected it.
I am happy however to report that those two words have no place in regards to Pageant Material. In fact, as soon as I first started playing the album, I was once again, immediately hooked. One of the things I loved about Same Trailer Different Park was how flawless Musgraves is as a songwriter. The genre of country music used to be known for such talent, but somewhere after the 90’s ended, it all, but vanished. Not only does Musgraves bring back good songwriting, but in a lot of ways she’s even better than those of the past. Whether she’s making you smile with lines like: “And it ain’t that I don’t care about world peace, but I don’t see how I can fix it in a swimsuit on a stage” (Pageant Material) or making you laugh with her extraordinary way with words: “They own too much wicker and drink too much liquor. You’d wash your hands of them, but blood’s always thicker. You might look just like ’em; that don’t mean you’re like ’em. But you love ’em” (Family is Family), her lyrics never disappoint.
If I am going to be hypercritical, then sure I could bring up the fact that the “be yourself” theme (“Cup of Tea”, “Pageant Material”, “Good Ol’ Boys Club” to name a few) does at times seem to be overpowering, but on the other hand, it’s not a bad message to get out there either. Even the obligatory “remembering your roots” song that almost always finds its way into every artist’s library at some point (Dime Store Cowgirl) manages to somehow seem different than all the others of its kind. It helps as well that Musgraves does change gears a bit for songs like “Late to the Party” and my personal favorite, the album finale “Fine” where you can hear her heart break with each and every word.
When all is said and done, Kacey Musgraves is something really special to the music world and if she can keep spitting out gems like Same Trailer Different Park and Pageant Material, then she will be around for a long time.
Check out her brand new video for “Biscuits” off of Pageant Material.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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