Kacey Musgraves’ Star-Crossed - What You Need To Know
The country-pop superstar returns this week with the much-vaunted follow-up to 2018’s Golden Hour. Here is everything you need to know about it...
A little background…
If 2015’s Pageant Material and its festive companion A Very Kacey Christmas were the records that alerted the world beyond country music to the presence of Kacey Musgraves, then 2018’s Golden Hour was the record that made them sit up and take notice.
Driven by hit singles ‘Butterflies’, ‘Space Cowboy’ and ‘High Horse’, the album was a serene, elegant collection, which inched away from the most overt country stylings and into something more cinematic. It performed sensationally, selling millions and earning her four Grammys, including the Album Of The Year gong, acclaim that showed Musgraves’ appeal has stretched far beyond country.
Naturally, Musgraves toured extensively off the back of the album’s success, not stopping until the end of 2019, when she filmed The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show, gathering a gang of musicians that included Lana Del Rey, Leon Bridges and Zoey Deschanel to help her get suitably festive.
For the first part of 2020, Musgraves was mostly seen in collaboration with other artists. She sang with The Flaming Lips, Troye Sivan and helped her then-husband Ruston Kelly with his second LP, Shape & Destroy, which dropped in the summer of 2020.
Sadly, Musgraves’ marriage, which began in 2017, didn’t end up working out and she and Kelly divorced in July 2020. It’s a process that is all over star-crossed, which, as you might expect, is an album billed as one full of heartbreak and rebirth...
Who’s producing it?
After the huge success of Golden Hour, Musgraves has reunited with Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, who have produced and co-written the vast majority of the album. There are also two credits for Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse.
Any special guests?
None, no duet partners, no features, just Musgraves. Star-Crossed is a very personal album so it feels very fitting it’s just her.
What does it sound like?
Sonically, this isn’t a tremendous left-turn from Golden Hour, the production is still elegant and gently glitters away. There are rootsy moments on here and it feels like more of a country record than Golden Hour, though perhaps that’s down to the deeply personal subject matter which dominates the album.
It’s a long one with 15 tracks in all, but only one, her closing cover of Violeta Parra’s 'Gracias a la Vida’ does she break the four-minute mark.
Does it deliver?
Absolutely. Musgraves’ unique take on country is why she’s broken out of Nashville and into arenas across the world, and this album is another demonstration of why she’s still the most interesting artist that country boasts.