Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed (2021) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/48kHz | Time – 47:27 minutes | 570 MB | Genre: Country, Pop, Female Vocal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © MCA Nashville

Kacey Musgraves’ new album star-crossed is a bold, empowering, and personal series of songs that displays the 6x GRAMMY Award winner’s continued growth as one of the finest singer-songwriters of our time. It’s the follow-up to Golden Hour, which earned Musgraves her third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and distinguished her as only the third artist ever to take home Album of the Year at the GRAMMY Awards, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards.

For months before the release of her fourth album, Kacey Musgraves made it clear that star-crossed was going to be her big breakup record: a follow-up to both her three-year marriage to singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly and her blissful-in-love album Golden Hour. But this is no vengeful divorc’ee screed; Musgraves charts all the stages of break-up grief-denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Stark opener “star-crossed,” helped along by Spanish guitar, sets the scene as one of melodrama by going so far as to draw allusions to Romeo and Juliet. While its lyrics present Musgraves and Kelly’s love as one for the storybooks, AutoTune-heavy “good wife” offers a much more pedestrian view. She weighs the struggles of marital conflict (the bargaining lines of “I could be more fun … I could pack him a bowl”) against the idea of giving up (“I could probably make it on my own … I don’t want to be alone”). Musgraves has cited Sade and Daft Punk as influences-along with Weezer, Bill Withers and the Eagles-for the album, and this song is their crossroads. “breadwinner” is one of the few times she dips into the brutally honest territory of the Chicks’ Gaslighter, offering a peek into what it was like being married to a (much, much) less successful songwriter: “He wants a breadwinner/ He wants your dinner/ Until he ain’t hungry anymore/ He wants your shimmer/ To make him feel bigger.” Even as the words sting, it remains sonically cool. As Musgraves moves more toward chilly synths and shimmering dance beats on tracks like “simple times” and “cherry blossom,” there are also moments that feel like “old Kacey.” You can hear it in the way her voice breaks just a little on the gentle “angel” (which finds her taking responsibility for her own human downfalls-as in, she’s no angel). Gorgeous “camera roll,” which could be an outtake from one of her early records, is like a modern-day answer to Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” and the slippery trick of photographic nostalgia. Musgraves has always been able to convey bittersweetness better than just about anyone else in her generation, and you really feel it here: “Chronological order ain’t nothing but torture/ Scroll too far back, that’s what you get/ I don’t wanna see ’em, but I can’t delete ’em.” It all closes out with a dustily spooky, almost David Lynch-ian cover of the stirring ballad “gracias la vida” by late Chilean activist and folk legend Violeta Parra. As heart-wrenching as the song sounds, its translated words offer great empathy and hope: “Thanks to life, which has given me so much/ It gave me laughter and it gave me tears … The two elements that make up my song/ And your song, as well, which is the same song.” – Shelly Ridenour

1. star-crossed (03:19)
2. good wife (03:51)
3. cherry blossom (03:04)
4. simple times (02:47)
5. if this was a movie.. (03:14)
6. justified (03:00)
7. angel (02:19)
8. breadwinner (03:20)
9. camera roll (02:39)
10. easier said (03:07)
11. hookup scene (03:21)
12. keep lookin’ up (02:46)
13. what doesn’t kill me (02:17)
14. there is a light (03:51)
15. gracias a la vida (04:32)