Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Kacey Musgraves’s ‘star-crossed’ has strong lyrics, weak sound

Kacey Musgrave released her fifth album "Star-Crossed" on Sept. 10, 2021.
Kacey Musgrave released her fifth album "Star-Crossed" on Sept. 10, 2021.

I will be the first to admit I became a bandwagon fan of Kacey Musgraves during her fourth studio album, “Golden Hour.”I went into her new album “star-crossed” hoping to get a similar sound.

Instead, I got something that sounded like a lot of other pop on the radio and was — dare I say — a bit boring. 

I feel like I heard a lot of anticipation for the album, but everyone was silent once it actually came out. This might partly be because I’m not a part of the fan base that follows all that, or maybe all listeners felt it was “meh.” 

That’s what the album was — “meh.” Musgraves is an amazing singer and lyricist, but it just fell flat. 

To me, there were some surprises in some of the songs, like when “star-crossed” goes from having slow guitar to a full instrumental. The following track, “good wife,” also starts slow, but gives way to an auto-tuned, synth-heavy vocal. Even these became predictable and I felt myself losing interest about halfway through the album.

I totally understand when an artist chooses to change up their sound from album to album. It could have been expected, knowing that Musgraves recently went through a divorce. But I think while that life event influenced strong, emotional lyrics, it doesn’t seem to have translated to a strong, new sound.

That being said, I’m no hater, and there are still some bops on here even if the body of work left something to be desired. 

The eighth track on the album,“breadwinner” showcases what I have said about thinking that her recent divorce has given her good lyrical inspiration, which is on full display in this upbeat number. 

The theme of it focuses on a man who cannot handle the successes of his spouse, with lines like, “But all of his wounds ain’t an excuse / For you to put up with how he treats you.” 

This song does sound a bit poppy, but I can see the country influence shining through here. I get “Golden Hour” vibes from it, which is why I think it’s a huge plus for this album.

I’d say overall this album has potential to grow on me for its easy listening. It will be good homework background music. I do not see it becoming something that will be a personal classic on my playlists, like many of the tracks from “Golden Hour” are.

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