Best Albums of the 2010s – #18
Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves (2018)
It has been an excellent decade for women in country music, even if country radio continues to stubbornly ignore their music. Five of my top 20 albums are by women who are either country (or at least country-adjacent) artists.
One of the most critically-acclaimed of those records is Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, the Texan singer-songwriter’s third and best album.
The third song tied for 15th on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll is another Kacey Musgraves tune. She clearly hit a nerve with Golden Hour, at least critically. It hasn’t been a runaway commercial hit, at least not yet.
‘Space Cowboy’ was on of the album’s early singles and one of its standout tracks. Musgraves does a nice job mining the cowboy metaphor throughout, and the misdirection of “space cowboy” actually being “space, cowboy” is nifty.
Three songs tied for the 15th spot on Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop poll. One of those is ‘Shallow,’ the one element of A Star is Born that will definitely win an Oscar later this month.
Then comes ‘Slow Burn,’ the lead-off track from Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, which I already noted was the poll’s #1 album overall.
Miranda Lambert is my country music queen, sitting high atop a pedestal, out of reach of most singer-songwriters both inside and outside of the genre. She’s untouchable.
But if she has an heir apparent, it could well be Kacey Musgraves, who just released Golden Hour, her third straight album of delightful country pop and appears to be on a similar critical and commercial trajectory.
Our next assignment in the 30 Day Music Challenge is to name ‘A Song That You Love From 2011.’ Not sure why we’re going with 2011, but I guess we should embrace the randomness.
I can’t recall any 2011 songs off the top of my head (the past ten years kind of run together musically) so I turned to Google for help. The biggest song of that year was Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep,’ a bona fide juggernaut if ever there was one. I named it as my own top song of 2011 here on the blog.
Best Songs of 2015 – #19
‘Somebody To Love’ – Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves’ sophomore album, Pageant Material, was a bit of a let-down after her sparkling debut, Same Trailer, Different Park. It’s not that the songs were worse, but rather they felt like more of the same.
Lead single ‘Biscuits’ was catchy as hell but really just another take on the “be yourself” mantra of ‘Follow Your Arrow.’ In fact, half of the album delivers that same message.
The knock on Kacey Musgraves’ sophomore album, Pageant Material is that it doesn’t stray very far from the formula that made her debut record so great.
That’s a tough criticism because it punishes the artist for doing what she does best. It’s also the sort of criticism that fades with time. Separated from the expectations of a much-anticipated new release, Pageant Material will one day be remembered as a collection of solid, enjoyable songs.