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by Kacey Musgraves

Released September 10, 2021 via MCA Nashville / Interscope Records

Reviewed September 21, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
star-crossed (56%), if this was a movie.. (44%), gracias a la vida (38%)

On Kacey Musgraves’ latest record, star-crossed, there is a noticeable lack of twang for one of country’s biggest crossover stars in recent years. Musgraves still delivers a great folk/pop effort; she sticks to one topic and the tone is generally the same, but she manages to cover vengeance, disappointment, regret, and more, through her lyrics. Although the songwriting is somewhat hit-or-miss, that just seems like the result of a simplified lyrical style. Besides, Musgraves’ vocal performance and charisma have always been enough to hide any lyrical shortcomings. To add onto that, the hooks on this album are incredible and it is probably her catchiest work. star-crossed isn’t on par with Golden Hour or Same Trailer, Different Park, but it is still a solid follow-up. – Alan (8.1/10)

Kacey Musgraves’ fifth album star-crossed takes autobiographical rooting in the heartache she experienced following her divorce. Understandably, star-crossed is painfully introspective, as Musgraves grapples with a number of uncomfortable emotions; reminiscing on love that once felt perfect, questioning what she could have done differently, and the subsequent hurdles before her as she addresses and overcomes these futile thoughts. As somber as star-crossed gets, it’s ultimately cathartic. Musgraves comes to terms with the end of her relationship while asserting her own self-worth, both in retrospect to her marriage and to herself moving forward post-divorce. Sonically, Musgraves strays further from her country roots than she has before. While still present, even the more stripped-back moments feel more akin to a dreamy brand of indie folk. This sound occasionally fuses with upbeat tempos that lend a disco-pop feel, making star-crossed a pleasantly diverse listen in both its sound and thematic content. – Dominick (8/10)

Three years after releasing the biggest country crossover album since Taylor Swift’s Fearless, Kacey Musgraves has reemerged with her least genre-specific album yet. While Golden Hour had glitz and glam, star-crossed strips all that away to discuss one of country’s most prevalent themes: Heartbreak. Divorce albums are just as popular in country music as party albums. However, Musgraves takes the country staple and uses pop and disco-influenced soundscapes to craft her narrative. This album takes a Shakespearean approach, as a tragedy in three acts. Whether she’s discussing her yearning to be a great partner despite the clear cracks in the relationship on “good wife,”or her sheer disappointment at the fact that the relationship is over on “simple things,”it's clear that Musgraves is painting a tale of healing nonlinearly. She often laments on this album—swimming in happiness, sadness, anger, regret—which is natural after the demise of a relationship, but especially a marriage. Though the vivid imagery of what love was like on Golden Hour is absent on star-crossed, this album still gets its point across: Relationships suck. – Pablo (6.8/10)

Dominick: 8/10 | Victoria: 8/10 | Pablo: 6.8/10 | Cam: 6.5/10

DeVán: 6.5/10 | Peter: 5.5/10 | Jared: 4/10


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