GOLDEN HOUR - KACEY MUSGRAVES
LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH AUGUST 2018
- Artist: Kacey Musgraves
- Release Date: 30th March, 2018
- Genre: Country, Cosmic Country, Pop Country, Folk, Disco Pop
- Record Label: MCA Records
- Tracks: 13
- Website: http://www.kaceymusgraves.com/
- Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)
Known for her very clever and often 'tongue in cheek' songwriting the multi-award winning Kacey Musgraves returns for her excellent third studio album 'Golden Hour'. It contains a range of styles from cosmic-pop country and folk through to disco-pop. It's a little bit of a departure from her previous albums, but I think it really works. The album continues to grow the more times you play it, which is always a very good sign. It is one of my favourite albums this summer and one that I keep going back to.
'Golden Hour' is an album created for crossover success. The lyrics tone down her trademark sardonic vignettes of small-town life in favour of larger and more universal themes. It's a album-length ode to not having the right words, to being overcome by the moment and of surrendering to it.
This time Kacey has a new writting team in Ian Pitchuk and Daniel Tashian who also play on the album after previous writing with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clarke. Kacey has talked about the influence of Sade on her work, of “futurism, space country and galactic cosmic country”. During the making of the album a full solar eclipse happened in Nashville on Kacey's birthday her 29th. She comments on the sleeve notes that 'There are different masks that we all wear that represent different sides of ourselves. The golden hour is when all the masks come together as one and you can see in perfect light, the whole picture of me'.
The album begins will the beautiful 'Slow Burn', a perfect summer song and one of my favourite tracks. You can just drift away to this one, transported into the heat of the Texan sun. Super arrangements and musicianship with Kacey's vocal soaring majestically over the track. Fantastic
With a lovely Fleetwood Mac vibe 'Lonely Weekend' is a tale of a missed and absent lover with the feelings of being left alone and behind. 'It's ok to alone sometimes' Kacey laments.
Another beautiful track 'Butterflies' is a tale of drifting through life and then finding a life-changing true love. Like a butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis. With her wings finally free Kacey soars in this track. Some lovely banjo and pedal steel accents too
'Oh What A World' is another very classy and catchy cosmic pop classic. I love the banjo accents again in this one and the ELO inspired vocoder assisted vocals at the end of the track.
“I’m just sitting here thinking about the time that’s slipping, and missing my mother,” she sings on the piano led 'Mother' albeit with a pretty distinctive twist. It was apparently written after Kacey’s mum sent her a text with a photo of her hands, which the singer-songwriter received while she was tripping on LSD, an experience the song also describes: “Bursting with empathy, I’m feeling everything … It’s the music in me and all of the colours.”
The quality tracks continues with the wonderfully reflective 'Love Is A Wild Thing'. Electronic drum rhythms add a different dimension on the album version.
'Space Cowboy' sees Kacey singing about giving people space in relationships. “Sunsets fade/And love does too”. It's close and immediate like Kacey is the first person to notice and you’re the first one she’s telling.
“Is there a word for the way that I’m feeling tonight,” she asks in “Happy & Sad,” attempting to pinpoint the growing melancholy undercutting an otherwise fantastic and blissful evening. Kacey is very good at knowingly playing with country cliches while writing about love and this comes to the fore in 'Velvet Elvis' “I wanna show you off every evening,” she sings “go out with you in powder blue and tease my hair up high.”
In 'Wonder Woman' Kacey confronts a partner’s unrealistic expectations and gives a simple counter: “All I need’s a place to land.” Next up is the Daft Punk-influenced disco-house toe-tapping 'High Horse'. It is hard one to listen to without smiling with its Nile Rogers style production which really works.
With a distinct nod to Neil Young in title track 'Golden Hour' Kacey compares her happiness and contentment to a temporary trick of the light: “All that I know,” she admits, “Is you caught me at the right time....and everything is gonna be alright”. The album concludes with the beautiful 'Rainbow' which could easily be taken from an early 70's Elton John album. It is one which is dedicated and intended to speak to LGBTQ youth.
There is currently a special deal on all Kacey's albums at Amazon. Why don't you treat yourself, if you don't have them already.