KACEY MUSGRAVES – ” Star Crossed “

Posted: December 23, 2021 in MUSIC
Kacey musgraves star crossed

On 2018’s “Happy & Sad,” Kacey Musgraves innocently sings, “I never felt so high / And I’ve never been this far off the ground / And they say everything that goes up must come down,” as she absorbs the euphoria (and fears) of being a newlywed. In 2021, these lyrics feel like a haunting precursor to her latest project, “star-crossed“, which dissects the emotional rollercoaster she experienced following her divorce to country singer Ruston Kelly. Following the triumph of “Golden Hour“, which won the 2018 Album of the Year Grammy Award, Musgraves then went through a divorce and a long period of self-discovery and healing. “star-crossed” is the story of this chapter in her journey—a “modern tragedy” that takes listeners through the stages of complicated and conflicting emotions in ways that feel all too familiar for most of us.

Musgraves chronicles this journey in her version of a Shakespearean three-act structure, questioning the validity of their relationship in “good wife,” realizing she gave more than what she received on “breadwinner,” and ultimately touching base with reality on “what doesn’t kill me.” The delicate synths and laid-back production on this album gives space for listeners to submerge themselves in Musgraves’ comforting, twangy voice and pry intently on her inner psyche. In the aftermath, Musgraves has a full-circle moment on “keep lookin’ up” by revisiting her perspective on her aforementioned 2018 song, now singing, “But I keep looking up / Won’t let the world bring me down / Keep your head in thе clouds / And your feet on the ground.”

She’s teaching us that in the wake of your divorce, it’s all about maintaining balance—you can fantasize and yearn for love, but learn to be grounded and not lose sight of yourself. 

Every stage of a breakup is sung in chronological order here: marital worries, hope for the relationship being good enough, worsening arguments, split, poignant staring at old photos, perspective gained, exciting/depressing ventures on to dating apps, eventual feeling of true freedom. Swerve a couple of tepid chillout-compilation moments and along the journey you alight at some of Musgraves’ prettiest song writing, nicely leavened with her straight-talking, wearily dismayed tone of voice.

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