in Review

Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Sometimes, there are albums that are so easy to love that you don’t really have words to sufficiently describe your feelings for them. But, I suppose that gets at what is remarkable about Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, as it aims to capture a feeling that so many songs fail to. Which is a kind of love song ensconced in calmness. The other Kacey Musgraves albums I’ve heard seem to have a kind of slight neuroses to undercut all of Musgraves’ pangeant girl charms. And here, she seems completely comfortable with being herself, while also comfortable with the idea of falling for somebody that gets her, even if she doesn’t entirely get why.

As a pretty casual fan of country music, the thing that always gets me coming back to this oft-neglected genre is the lyrical and storytelling possibilities inherent in a lot of country music. That said, I’m a little hesitant to unabashedly praise Musgraves’ lyrics, since there is something a little corny to songs like “Space Cowboy” or “High Horse”, where she’s leaning into a certain kind of country-girl aesthetic with some wordplay that doesn’t exactly air on the side of subtlety.

Yet somehow, that doesn’t really matter. There’s such a charming amount of sincerity globbed on to these songs about getting swept off your feet by some so-called “Velvet Elvis” or “modern-day John Wayne” that you kind of have to just sit there and bask in Golden Hour‘s unyielding warmth. While at the same time, the album is filled with the occasional tale of romantic failure to put in perspective the miracle of ever finding some loverboy worthy of writing a song about.

I suppose the other thing worth mentioning about this album (other than its lovelorn loveliness), is the way it walks the line between country and pop without sounding terrible. “Oh, What A World” even has a Daft Punk-style robot voice, while still managing to be one of the most warm and inviting ballads on an album chocked full of them. It’s just one more effortless feat on an album that’s as easy as a summer breeze, and I suspect will sound even better as that most golden of seasons is upon us.

Favorite Tracks: “Lonely Weekend”, “Oh, What A World”, “Love Is A Wild Thing”