October 16, 2021

Spif Panel

Think Shopping & Women

‘Golden Hour’ turns to tragedy in Musgraves’ ‘star-crossed’

4 min read
Musgraves’ fourth studio album offers an emotionally charged exploration of triumph and vulnerability. (Image courtesy of Universal Audio Group)

In her fourth studio album, singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves tracks the dramatic progression of thoughts adhering to her the latest divorce from fellow place musician Ruston Kelly. 

Launched Sept. 10, the album arrived along with a movie of the exact identify, that includes appearances by Eugene Levy, Princess Nokia, Victoria Pedretti and additional. 

Entitled “star-crossed,” the album is a thematic reversal to the lovestruck musings of Musgraves’ past album “Golden Hour,” which heralded the joyousness of falling in adore. The glimmering and effervescent “Golden Hour” is speared and disemboweled by “star-crossed,” which Musgraves called “a fashionable tragedy.” 

The albums distinction one one more narratively and visually. The “star-crossed” aesthetic centers around bedazzled medieval armor and piercing, vivid colors, whilst “Golden Hour” was described by its warm tones and flapping butterflies.

As opposite as marriage and divorce may be, there is a definite sonic familiarity amongst the albums. A combine of upbeat synth-pop and slower acoustics, “star-crossed” confirms that, from bride to divorcee, Musgraves continues to be herself. 

The modifications of pace and design from music to music lead to the story that the album tells: the chaotic tumult of thoughts that arise, in no particular get, write-up-separation. “star-crossed” finds its relatability within just its scattered sensation, as Musgraves pinballs amongst anger, nostalgia, regret and hope.

All alongside one another, the tracks fling listeners again and forth concerning inner thoughts of triumph and vulnerability — an emotional development all much too similar to coming out of a relationship.

The very first and titular observe of the album, “star-crossed,” instantaneously establishes the album’s target of telling a spectacular tale of heartbreak and recovery. Stacked vocal harmonies, a haunting Latin guitar progression and angelic harp accompany Musgraves’ initially lyrics, “Let me established the scene/Two enthusiasts ripped correct at the seams.” 

The tunes that observe seize each instant and each individual sensation that Musgraves experienced subsequent that severance from a lover. 

Musgraves addresses the combined depiction of feelings immediately in “justified,” which promises her correct to heal in her personal way. “Healing does not occur in a straight line,” Musgraves sings. “If I cry just a very little and then giggle in the middle/(…)/Then I’m far more than just a very little justified.” 

The broad array of emotions defended in “justified” is supported visually in the “star-crossed” movie, where jump cuts are utilised to demonstrate Musgraves in various states of well-getting while at the wheel of a auto. Musgraves is at one particular moment lifeless-eyed and tear-streaked, then jubilant and carefree the future.

The exciting of the album will come from Musgraves’ moments of triumph. In “cherry blossom,” Musgraves compares herself to a lovely but shorter-lived flower — lovely although she’s there, but long gone all too quickly. “I’m your cherry blossom, baby,” states Musgraves. “Don’t let me blow away.” 

A comparable electricity is located in “breadwinner,” exactly where Musgraves seems to have conquered the divorce by knowing the faults of her ex-lover. “He wants your shimmer to make him come to feel even larger/Right up until he begins feeling insecure,” sings Musgraves. 

The fun, energetic Murgraves then offers way to a far more solemn 1, as triumph fades to vulnerability. In “hookup scene,” there is an underlying sense of regret bordering the relationship’s finish. “If you’ve acquired a person to really like/And you’ve virtually offered up/Keep on restricted regardless of the way they make you mad/‘Cause you may well not even know that you never have it so bad.”

The music “good wife” may possibly finest capture the conflicting feelings of reduction and unhappiness involved with the stop of a connection. A cheeky satirization of what helps make a “good wife” offers way mid-music to a painful revelation that Musgraves, while acknowledging the harmfulness of gender stereotypes, needs she could have manufactured the enjoy final. 

“God assist me be a fantastic spouse,” sings Musgraves, by way of autotune, “‘Cause he wants me.” In the film, this track is played around visuals of brides-in-coaching, adorned in maid outfits and rigidly working towards their ironing and desk-location expertise. Evidently a satirization, the track then breaks down into its susceptible minute with Musgraves’ wistful declaration: “I don’t want to be by yourself.” 

Musgraves advertised the album as being “told in 3 functions,” and it is the third act that rescues the album from ending as a mournful break up tale. “keep wanting up” “what doesn’t eliminate me” and “there is a light” all place Musgraves on an upward-looking trajectory, confident in her price and hopeful that fantastic issues await her further than this era of a love that did not last.

Some listeners have felt underwhelmed by the album, boasting that what Musgraves promoted as a complex, drama-filled tragedy turned out to be a tame and tidy recounting of a typical break up. 

It may well not be “Romeo and Juliet,” but the destiny of Shakespeare’s star-crossed enthusiasts is notoriously aggravating in any case. With Musgraves’ tale, we end on an uplifting be aware of the triumphs that await her in the long term, which with any luck , we’ll be dancing to someday. I’d acquire Musgraves about Montague any working day, theatrical marketing integrated. 

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