Album of the Week: Kacey Musgraves' Same Trailer Different Park

Kacey Musgraves is receiving much-deserved attention in the wake of her recent Grammy wins. In a country music climate that was forever altered by crossover acts like Faith Hill and Shania Twain, it is good to hear another artist playing with the country template, albeit with different aesthetic goals. Musgraves is a modern country musician and not a traditionalist or conservative; "Follow Your Arrow" boasts some open-hearted liberal social commentary, "My House" is a cutesy novelty song about living in a mobile home, and "Blowin' Smoke" is a waitress character-study that trades in her soft acoustics for crunchy guitar. Much of the album attempts to tell modern stories through classic country melancholy and instrumentation, as heard on the lovely small-town sketch, "Merry Go 'Round." This track is particularly interesting because it speaks to the feelings of many young people today who want to roam away from their home towns, while also speaking to the underlying loneliness and boredom that can come with rural life. Musgraves is perhaps the most talented singer/songwriter working in her genre, and one can hope radio programmers start giving her more spins.

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