Pageant Material - Kacey MUSGRAVES
LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH - JUL 2015
Release date: 23rd June 2015
Record Label: Decca Records
Kacey's highly anticipated follow-up album to the multi Grammy award-winning 'Same Trailer, Different Park' is another firm 5* winner. Pageant Material has all the the fresh, very clever, punchy lyrics & song writing of its predecessor. Once again Kacey has teamed with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark to co-write all the songs on the album. Kacey has also this time added producer Luke Laird to the team. One thing we love about Kacey's music is its originally, she doesn't follow the usual Country music topics of love & life and even when she does, they have a completely different and fresh twist.
High Time opens the album on the tone of missing home and wanting to spend time 'catching up with the old me'. Since the amazing success of Kacey's previous album, you can get an idea from the song how crazy her life must have been and the changes success has had on her life. Dime Store Cowgirl is about Kacey's personal experiances of touring over the last year and a half.
Late to The Party is a another marvellous song. It has a very authentic feel to it and showcases Kacey's timeless vocal. it harks back to the goldern era of country music. The title track Pageant Material is a great song about how Kacey doesn't fit the usual mould of a Southern Pageant Queen and how (tongue in cheek) she really doesn't care. It has the theme of the expectations of how girls should act and has the great line 'I'd rather lose for what I am, than win for what I ain't'
This Town is written about (very) small town America, in this case Martha, Texas. It has a 'Boots are made for walking' crossed with 'Ode to Billy Joe' feel about it. The song starts with a recording of Kacey's Grandmother. 'Big enough for a ZIP code, a VFW, a good Mexican restaurant, a beauty shop or two. Got a Methodist, a Baptist, and a Church of the Nazarene. Aw, but don't you forget it, as big as we're getting this this town's too small to be mean. Yeah, it's too dang small to be mean. Too small to be lying, way too small to cheat, way too small for secrets. Cause they're way too hard to keep. And somebody's mama knows somebody's cousin, and somebody's sister knows somebody's husband, and somebody's daughter knows somebody's brother and around here we all look out for each other.
The first single released from the new album the very catchy Biscuits is a lot of fun. Co-written with Shane and Brandy it is already a hit with almost 1.4M views already on YouTube, just three weeks from it's release. With the same great philophosy as 'Follow your Arrow', Kacey sings "Just haul your own rope and raise your own babies. Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies. Mend your own fences and own your own crazy. Mind you own biscuits and life will be gravy".
Somebody to Love is a very beautifully track with a great string section and it's probably one of our favourites on the new album. Again very cleverly written, is has the hallmarks of a future Country music classic.
The guitar led Miserable is another very cleverly written song about seeing the negatives rather than the positive things in life. 'You can't see the flowers for the weeds you grow' and 'You can't set sail with your anchor down' are some of the great lyrics. Die Fun is another one of our favourite songs on the album. It about enjoying life now as you grow older. "Love Hard, Live Fast and Die Fun....we can't do it over"
Family is Family is about....Family. It's another very clever and fun song with the chorus "Family is family, in church or in prison
You get what you get, and you don't get to pick 'em. They might smoke like chimneys, but give you their kidneys. Yeah, friends come in handy, but family is family"
Good Ol' Boys Club was written in Texas about the current Country music scene and is probably the most 'Country' sounding songs on the album. If you have been reading recently about some of the comments in the US music press about female country artists and the rise of 'Bro Country', then this song should really reasonate. With it's lovely string section and music box feel Cup of Tea, is a softer version of 'Follow your Arrow', how you can't be 'everybodyies cup of tea.' There is great advice here to just be yourself as you can't please everyone.
One of the older songs on the album Fine, was co-written six years ago with Shane (the first song they wrote together). It is just gorgeous and destined to become another sure fire hit. It has the feel of a heartful slow waltz.
Are of Sure (the hidden bonus track) has a great retro feel....fantastic pedel steel and a real classic country song.
Pageant Material is a great country album, very cleverly written with killer vocals from Kacey. It will bring a smile to your face and pleasure to your ears. What more could you ask for?