Kacey Musgraves is the other “savior” I was talking about. A few years ago, I didn’t know anything about this young lady. Some friends said that I would love her and that I should go and see her when she was doing a random gig in Sydney. The place was packed, largely with other musicians. It was standing room only. I could see why.
You can generally tell someone is good when your musical heroes go to see the concert. Shane Nicholson was her support, so I also had back up, there! This album is probably the most crossover sounding album yet, but she doesn’t lose track of her country sound, she just plays with it a bit.
By her own admission, Kacey said “I wanted to change it up a bit”. This album isn’t nothing like her last albums, save to say that she still tackles the tough subjects and she is unNashville like in the fact that some of those subjects are usually off limits in America’s Country Cap.
There are quite literally hundreds of reviews on this album, such is the broad appeal of Kacey. Some are disappointed that it isn’t following the point to point feel of those previous works. Some say that she carries on the “tackling the issues” thread of those albums. Many say that it is her best album yet and in some cases the best (American) country album of the year so far.
It is probably an album that sounds like it is made by an artist who is happy in her own skin, someone who is comfortable with gear changes and breaking the rules.
Some of the songs are much more poppy in their melodies but the words and her voice are still very country. Kacey often presents that in her music though. There is always a little mystery to the layers of a Kacey song.
One reviewer said something along the lines of: “It is like she is telling you about something for the first time, and you believe it is the first time that you are hearing it.”
I don’t think that Kacey has “sold out” on this album. It is still country on many levels with a modern twist. The same messages and the distinctive voice are there. Even in a disco sounding song she sings about John Wayne, giddy up and a high horse..it is certainly different to what we are used to, but not to the point where we put it in the basket with some other artists who defected from the campfire or were never really there in the first place.
It wouldn’t surprise me if after this little experiment, Kacey gets back on the trail and goes back to her more earthy country stylings. Kacey has never been conventional or a conformist. She likes to surprise and shock and test the waters. Her life has been colourful and unique.
My favourite track on the album will come as no surprise to most who read my views and no my tastes. The very last track – Rainbow, which is piano and vocal. The quality of Kacey’s voice and the the lyrics of this beautiful song are pretty much perfection. It is a very appropriate song to end the album with.
Kacey is certainly an original. I don’t think that Kacey will be a defector, she just likes to try different approaches and ways. Overall, it is an experiment, I don’t think that she will ever wander too far from a dirt track.