"I love all music, EXCEPT for country," is probably a phase you've heard someone say. I am definitely guilty of having said it before. Country music has a bit of a bad reputation. Broken hearts, cowboys, and trucks are often lyric topics sang by an annoying, twangy voice. It's often thought of as music that conservative rednecks blast in their lifted diesel trucks as they wheeze by you on the street. To top it off, the country music scene isn't the most diverse and accepting.
I recently embarked on an eight hour car ride by myself and I wanted to listen to something new. Kacey Musgraves showed up on my "Discover Weekly" playlist on Spotify, and I was pleasantly surprised. Her newest album "Golden Hour" is different than what I previously knew country music to be. Yes, her voice is twangy at times. Yes, there is a song about cowboys on it. But the content of her songs and her ability to completely push the boundaries of what country music sounds like has won over this self-proclaimed country music hater. Musgraves preaches love and inclusion in her music, most notably in her 2013 hit, "Follow Your Arrow," and that isn't missed on this album.
The first track of the album is supposed to set up what you are going to expect to hear on the rest of the album and set the tone and "Slow Burn" does and tells you just that. This album is a bit of a slow burn as well as the song. Everything in this song builds quite beautifully, and Musgraves' voice maintains a dreamy quality throughout. The perfect song to start out with.
Favorite lyric: "I'm alright with a slow burn/Taking my time, let the world turn."
Party of One
This is probably one of the most relatable songs on the album for me, and goes perfectly with the article I posted last week which you can check out here. Musgraves sings about how everyone she knows, including her husband, is busy, but she doesn't mind spending the weekend by herself. Everyone can relate to those weekends that creep up on you where you thought you would have made plans by then, but nothing ever came up so you're stuck hanging out by yourself. The melody is incredibly catchy on this song, as well.
Favorite lyric: "Guess I'm hangin' by myself, but I don't mind."
This was the first single off the album, and it's easy to see why. This song is cute, sweet and easy to sing-along to. Musgraves sings about how a certain someone has reminded her of how it feels when you first meet someone you like and how they were the missing piece in her life. This is one of my favorite songs off the album.
Favorite lyric: "And now, you're lifting me up 'stead of holding me down."
"Oh, What a World"
At times, this song is very reminiscent of Daft Punk and Imogen Heap. It's one of the first songs on the album that contributes different genre elements into the song. The electronified voice sings, "Oh, what a world, I don't want to believe/ There's all kinds of magic, it's hard to believe," saying throughout the song that love exists, y'all. Oh, what a world indeed. After the chorus, there is a cool banjo riff that I just have to sing-along to every time I hear it.
Favorite lyric: "Are we here just once or a billion times?/Well, I wish I knew, but it doesn't matter/'Cause you're here right now, and I know what I feel."
"Love Is a Wild Thing"
This definitely sounds like a country song, but I don't even mind. This mellow melody reminds us that love comes from places we don't think to look for it. It happens to us unexpectedly, and that is the beauty of it.
Favorite lyric: "Even if you lose it, it will find you/There's no way to stop it, but they'll try to."
The conversation with my mom about this song.
Honestly, I would be lying if I said this song didn't make me tear up just a little bit. I also immediately sent it to my mom as soon as I heard it, who also cried as well. Anyone who lives far away from their mom will be able to relate to this short, but meaningful song.
Favorite lyric: "Wish we didn't live, wish we didn't live so far from each other/ I'm just sitting here thinking 'bout the time that's slipping/And missing my mother, mother."
Released alongside "Butterflies," "Space Cowboy" is not actually about a cowboy in space (much to my dismay), but about someone that needs space from a relationship. The song is sad, but optimistic in the way that Musgraves knows that it wasn't meant to be if they need space from her.
Favorite lyric: "'Cause I know my place, and it ain't with you/Sunsets fade, and love does too."
"Happy & Sad"
Dude showing facial expressions
This song is incredibly relatable as well. It's about not being able to fully enjoy happy moments because you know that they're going to end soon—feeling the joy, but also feeling a sense of despair because you know that soon it will all be just a memory.
Favorite lyric: "And they say everything that goes up must come down/But I don't wanna come down."
This song is ridiculously catchy. It's so much fun and gets stuck in my head. Musgraves' voice sounds amazing and the song has a bit of a funky rock vibe to it. It makes me want to go and fall in love with a classy guy.
Favorite lyric: "I need a Graceland kind of man who's always on my mind."
This is a song about how in a relationship you need to view each other simply as humans instead of idealizing one another. It reminds us that we're all human, we all make mistakes, and we don't need a superhero to come swoop in and save us. I love it.
Favorite lyric: "Don't you know I'm only human?/And if I let you down, I don't mean to."
This was the song that made me give this album a chance. The disco-inspired track had me wanting to get up out of my seat and dance my heart out to it. The song is so catchy, and it's calling out all the people who think they're better than everyone else and asking them to please just giddy on up out of here.
Favorite lyric: "Darling, you take the high horse and I'll take the high road/If you're too good for us, you'll be good riding solo."
This song is mellow and actually reminds me of the sun setting on the day. Everything about it flows together and gives me a sense of peace like a sunset does. Musgraves sings about how someone has brought light into her world and makes her feel like everything is alright as long as she has them in her life.
Favorite lyric: "You've set my world on fire, yeah/And I know, I know everything's gonna be alright/You're my golden hour, the color of my sky."
A rainbow I captured on a drive home one day.
This is one of the most beautiful songs on the album. A slow piano ballad, Musgraves sings about how someone always seems to feel like they have a cloud above their head, but that it's actually always been a rainbow above them and they just can't see it because they can't see themselves the way other people can. The perfect song to end a wonderful album.
Favorite lyric: "If you could see what I see/You'd be blinded by the colors."