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Kacey Musgraves-star-crossed ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Kacey Musgraves is a singer and songwriter from Texas known to be a mainstream and critical superstar in the land of country music. I personally never listened to her music ever. That is until today because her new album “Star-Crossed” came out on September 10 and since I have this page now, I must review this new album, and with that being said, let’s get right into it.


Concept


If you haven’t been following Kacey Musgraves’ music like me, you will be along with me for a surprise. Turns out she was married to another songwriter named Ruston Kelly and they were married for three years. That was until 2020 when they divorced. This album is the first album published since their divorce and here she is writing a 47-minute album about it. It’s also in three parts that differentiate somewhat stylistically and Lyrically. Honestly, I didn’t even realize the three parts until I read about it and I’ll say right now, that each part has something different to talk about.


Part 1


The first part of the album is probably the most frustrating listen of the album. First off, I thought I was getting a country album but the first five songs were more inspired by Psychedelic and Folk pop from the 70s. The title track was a good solid start as it kind of introduces us to the concept that we’re about to gather in, but the following track makes you lose excitement quickly. With its desperate lyrics, corny hook, and overly commercial appeal, I didn’t know if I would be into something relatable or something like the Olivia Rodrigo record. Luckily the following track “Cherry Blossom” was one of my favorites. I loved the Japanese influence and the adventurous brand of psychedelia on the track. So after three tracks, I got a bad one, one that was ok and one that was great. What was I going to get in the following two tracks? Two tracks that follow in the “bad” category. Both “Simple Times” and “If This Was Just a Movie” aren’t super awful topically, it’s mainly the production that kills me. It also doesn’t help that lyrically it still comes off basic. So overall, I wasn’t a fan of the first part.


Part 2


Luckily, the second part picked up the pace, but only slightly. Except for the last two tracks, the tracks range from ok to bad. The first two tracks aren’t awful, but they are far from the best tracks on the album. We then get my least favorite track on the album, “Breadwinner”. It’s like a very bad dance-pop and country crossover with a terrible hook to top it off. Luckily, the next two tracks like I mentioned are really good. “Camera Roll” is a very emotional track that might be one of the saddest tracks I’ve heard come out this year. The track “Easier Said” is another great folk-pop track with a little more country influence and a little more pizazz than “Camera Roll”. It’s like a realization that her most popular work is about a person she no longer is with. I liked those last two tracks, but it’s hard to say that I enjoyed this part of the record when the previous three tracks were rather grading or forgettable.


Part 3


We are now at the final leg of the track, it is also the most widespread stylistically. It’s also the least pop-appealing too. The first two tracks of this side are solid but nothing to take away in my opinion. It isn’t until “What Doesn’t Kill Me” where the magic happens. To some, maybe the trap drums and the heavily modulated acoustic guitar could be a little much, but I like it. I will also add that this is where the tracks get less sad and more motivational. The next track “There Is a Light” is an easy favorite because I just think this track is amazing. The dancy backbeat, the jazzy flute solos, the atmospheric mix, and the motivational message are just great. It could’ve been a great way to end the album but she ended it in an even better way. She ends it with a cover of the 1966 song “Gracias a la Vida” by Violeta Parra. The aesthetic changes and different styles took me some time but I think the sentiment is beautiful and the way the aesthetics change could symbolize her mixed emotions on where she is now. Overall, I think this is easily the best part of the album. She saved her best tracks for last here.


Inconsistency


Well, it’s hard to say that I enjoyed it, but the great tracks redeem this record. At first, I didn’t know if the tracks I disliked made me love the better tracks but after listening to those tracks alone, I don’t think that was the case. But those tracks that I disliked (which there are a good few of) bring down this album in a noticeable way. Luckily, Kacey Musgraves delivers a three-part album that gets stronger but from a very weak start.


Verdict


This wasn’t bad, but it’s far from a highlight of this year. Honestly might be closer to a low point than a high one because I think the low points are that distracting with my overall enjoyment with this album. Although, if I take those tracks away, it takes the concept away. I am just indifferent on this album.


5/10




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