Story by Peyton Tranas | Core Writer
When your previous album wins Album of the Year at the Grammys, you have a lot of pressure on you to release an equally as good follow up album, and that is exactly what Kacey Musgraves did.
On September 10, Musgraves released her fourth (non-Christmas) studio album, star-crossed. While her previous album, Golden Hour (2018), was all about love and happiness with her then-husband Ruston Kelly, this album is about the heartbreak and challenges of divorce.
“Let me set the scene” are the first words Musgraves sings to open up the 15-track album. While still classified as a country album, this album certainly has many pop elements. It’s almost as if Musgraves is taking the same route Taylor Swift did with her album Red. Red was still considered a country album, but included many pop elements to prepare Swift’s fans for her full-pop crossover.
Musgraves was a country music sweetheart, but her fan base grew immensely after opening for Harry Styles during his 2018 tour. On Musgraves upcoming 2022 tour to promote star-crossed, her opening acts are exclusively pop.
In “good wife”, Musgraves prays to God to help her be a better wife, while in “justified” she sings about her healing process of being newly divorced, and how her feelings are justified. She heartbreakingly sings about the feeling of seeing happy pictures with your ex on your phone, but not yet having the courage to delete the pictures in “camera roll”. She sings about emotions people go through during almost any breakup, so the relatability isn’t given strictly to divorcees.
There are Spanish influences throughout the album, specifically in the closing track “gracias a la vida”. There are even hints of disco themes in “there is a light”, similar to that of her single “High Horse” from her 2018 album.
This album is certainly a “no-skip”, so whether your favorite track is “cherry blossom”, “easier said”, or “breadwinner”, you will find hundreds of other people with the same favorite song. If you loved Golden Hour, you will certainly be pleased with star-crossed.
Kacey Musgraves narrowly got the album released in time to be eligible for the 2022 Grammys. Her album will certainly be nominated in the country categories, but I believe it will bring some competition to the general categories as well. There will certainly be some stiff competition at the 2022 award ceremony with Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Tyler the Creator, and Drake also being strong contenders for the general categories.
If you haven’t already listened to this beautifully heartbreaking album, listen to it immediately and then attempt to snag tickets to the accompanying tour that will be highly sought after.