Album Review: Kacey Musgraves - "Golden Hour"

Album Review: Kacey Musgraves -

By Ian Bremner /

She is good friends with Katy Perry, as she is with Willie Nelson. She is adored by pop fans and traditional country fans, but has yet to crossover 100% in either direction. Until now, perhaps? She’s been at it her whole career, but Kacey Musgraves still feels like an anomaly.

Banjos and drum machines on the same record can certainly raise an eyebrow, and for good reason most of the time. Over the last 10-15 years, country radio has cannibalized all the good parts of country, rap, and pop music into something quite offensive. Kacey Musgraves has done the impossible. She has managed to seamlessly blend all these musical parts into something quite stunning, actually. It’s country and it’s pop, yet it’s not nearly as easy to qualify as a pop-country record as you might want to.

Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves’ third record is absolutely nothing like her first two, Same Trailer, Different Park or Pageant Material, yet it is unequivocally a “Kacey Musgraves” record. There is soft guitar plucking, and her gentle voice, but gone are the cheeky turns of phrase and nearly childlike themes. Lyrics being always at the forefront of Kacey Musgraves tunes, on Golden Hour, she is more straightforward and vivid in real time. Her glittery flair has been swapped out for subtle electronic beats and spacey vocal effects. The single, "High Horse," is perfect disco tune if you’ve ever heard one, and one that sounds prime for remixing.

She has been called an outlaw due to her success in country music well outside the confines of what people have come to think of the genre in today’s age, but Golden Hour is a new type of statement. Even the pop tunes are less “country-pop” and more true pop, even with the banjos.