To break into country music is not as easy as Taylor Swift might make it look. Kacey Musgraves, after self releasing three albums over the last ten years, is about to become an overnight sensation. Her major label debut called Same Trailer, Different Park will be released tomorrow and is destined for great success. With the success of the single Merry-Go Round over the last few months this might be the girl who sings the song you have been singing without knowing who she was. Musgraves has paid her dues, appearing on Nashville Star a few years ago and co-writing the Miranda Lambert hit Mama’s Broken Heart as well. With this album the singer will soon find herself on the top of the charts.
The first single shows a great deal of what Musgraves has to say. Talking about the restrictions of small town life and the need to jump out into the world she describes a merry-go round of love in which the players stay the same while the couples change. Everyone in a small town finds a distraction to hide the misery such as when she sings “Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay, Brothers hooked on Mary J, Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down.” With her sweet voice it sometimes seems like Taylor Swift has become even more depressed but it works and works well.
On the opening track Silver Lining we are told that to find a silver lining there has to be a cloudy day. A catchy little song with many similar examples this song seems destined for radio play. Blowin Smoke is told from the point of view of a waitress who admits that she and all her friends lie to each other to make themselves feel better about their lives. It includes a keeper of a line when she sings of a friend ” who hasn’t lost that baby weight, that baby’s about to graduate….from college.” That is a pretty clever line.
Speaking of love affairs gone wrong on I Miss You she admits she has everything and the sky is blue but ” I miss you.” Contrast that with her words to an ex lover that ” when your drunk or it’s late or your missing me like hell to just” as the title of the song suggests ” Keep it to yourself.”
As great as the album is, and it is a wonderful, the song getting all the buzz and, in conservative country music circles, a little blowback is Follow Your Arrow. Again focusing on the restrictions of small town life or the words of small minded people anywhere she suggests you should do what you want because you only live once and “your damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” When in the chorus she tells a young girl to ” Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, kiss lots of girls if that’s what your into.” she pushes a button that artists as popular as Garth Brooks have bumped into. Gay friendly is not a likely scenario on monolithic country radio. To push it further she goes on to sing that ” If the straight and narrow gets a little too straight to roll up a joint..or don’t ” Musgraves has a great voice and could be called a more mature Taylor Swift if you wanted. Her lyrics end that discussion pretty quickly.
This is a great album. One even supposes that their could be some crossover potential as the music has been greeted in wide circles as something special. Katy Perry for one has been excitedly promoting her new favorite singer. For those of us in Bangor Miss Musgraves will be opening for Kenny Chesney later this summer. There is a good chance that by the time the show arrives many who bought tickets not knowing who she was will be sure to arrive early enough to enjoy her act. This is a singer on the verge of breaking out into widespread success.