Country star Kacey Musgraves is back in business with her sophomore album, Pageant Material, her highly anticpated follow-up to Same Trailer, Different Park which introduced the world to her unique songwriting abilities. The new album was said by Musgraves to have had a more classical approach to its recording as most of it was recorded live in the studio, and lyrically she says it really captures her headspace and feelings between albums; perhaps Pageant Material will earn the young singer/songwriter another Grammy, who knows? Let’s give it a spin.
Tracks like High Time and Dime Store Cowgirl recaptures the essence of an every day country girl, even with the opportunities to leave the past behind Kacey is still quite in touch with her old self, each with a light hearted sound to keep you feeling warm. Musgraves is “sorry, not sorry” that she’s Late To The Party and expresses so to her love interest with a heart thumping ballad, whereas title track Pageant Girl is a more humorous ditty with a satirical take on the cuteness of pageants; she’s right, what difference could she make in a swimsuit on a stage? A more intense vibe was gone for with This Town as Kacey rambles on with a minimalistic backdrop, and lead single Biscuits is another fun number telling her nosey neighbours to “mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy”.
Somebody To Love touches on the self loathing faced on our journey of looking for love, being one of the most poetic and relatable tracks on the album, Miserable is also a deeper and more meaningful number as Musgraves assists somebody in realising that their misery is their happiness; Musgraves then uses her lush vocal work to soothe us into drinking our older years away and encourages us to Die Fun. A bit of Kacey’s comedic charm returns with the fun ditty Family Is Family, highlighting that even if you wanted to wash your hands of them they are what they are; she goes for the overdone country girl concept of not wanting to be part of the Good Ol’ Boy’s Club, still not a bad track though. Cup Of Tea is a cute little number that brings home the message that you can’t be everybody’s favourite, and final track Fine is a little more depressing as Kacey longs for her lover to come home from being out of town.
If Kacey Musgraves has a story to tell, she makes sure that it’s heard, Pageant Material is yet another golden collection of charm and poetry. If she wanted to pursue a career in pop or folk music she would have it made, vocally Musgraves sounds like she can be quite versatile, and even though her voice doesn’t have the mightiest of strength you would not have these lyrics delivered any other way. You are guaranteed to chuckle at her comedy, long with her longings and agree with some if not all of her stances; if you haven’t fallen in love with Kacey Musgraves musical personality, you’ve been missing out, Pageant Material continues her style with ease.