Kacey Musgraves ‘star-crossed’: a New Take on Heartbreak Music

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Kacey Musgraves fans finally got to listen to the long-awaited album, “star-crossed” Sept. 10, her first release since her Grammy-winning album “Golden Hour” in 2018. 

Musgraves has always been an outlier in the world of country music. Her career took off in 2012 when she signed with Mercury Nashville and released her debut album “Same Trailer Different Park” in 2013. Since then, she’s racked up six Grammy awards through her unique take on the genre.

“star-crossed” keeps with Musgraves’s style of pop mixed with country to give it the authentic style that draws people to her music. Recorded in the wake of her recent divorce from singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, Musgraves conveys her wide array of mixed feelings and emotions following the separation.

Many elements of her previous albums can be found in the new addition to her music career. Her guitar tones — mixed with different pop beats — stayed true to previous releases, giving her the perfect blend of genres, a skill Musgraves has mastered in her music.

The album fits superbly with her impressive discography, building on top of an already strong base. She articulates the feeling of being lost and feeling hopeless in a similar way she used her emotion to lead in “Golden Hour.”

“star-crossed” was the first song to be released just two weeks before the rest of the album. It sets the scene for the remainder of the story she is telling through the 15 track album. “Let me set the scene/ two lovers ripped right at the seams/ they woke up from the perfect dream.” 

A movie feature accompanied the album in select theaters and is streaming on Paramount+ starting Sept. 10th. The 50-minute film depicts the relationship between Musgraves and her ex-husband and cycles through all the stages of regret, sadness, and acceptance during the process of the separation.

Each song on “star-crossed” takes on its own chronological view of her heartbreak. While a few of the earlier songs are more mellow and woeful, the later ones take on a more hopeful view of her situation. 

The second song on the album, “good wife,” starts off as a slow, sweet song about treating her husband but it picks up to a faster beat where Musgraves reveals that it’s because he needs her as much as she needs him. “God help me be a good wife/ ‘cause he needs me,” Musgraves sings on the track. 

The song does a superior job of depicting the denial she’s in after losing the relationship and claiming she can be what she wasn’t in the past. “Help me let go of all the things that make me mad.”

“angel” is a sad lament, mourning what could have been. She repeats the line “If I was an angel” followed by what she feels she could’ve changed about herself if she were a perfect person. 

However, on “there is a light” the tune shifts and starts out with a new upbeat vibe. It is then taken over by an unsuspecting flute solo giving the song a positive and hopeful feel to it where Musgraves finally lets go of her hurt and connection to her ex. It seems to be the last stage in the grief of a breakup, ending with the line “There is a light inside.” 

“star-crossed” is a well-founded example of grieving a breakup in any type of capacity. The chronological order of the songs paints the picture of getting yourself back and finding out who you are. Musgraves will certainly draw in many with this album as it relates to so many people on a deeper level. 

“star-crossed” is now available on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services.

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