Pageant Material – Rolling Stone
Country Flag
Home Music Country Music

Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves follows up her hit 2013 debut with a sharper, more confident LP

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves performs during the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 12th, 2015.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

With 2013’s Same Trailer Different Park and “Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves became not just a breakout star but a figurehead for a generation overhauling country’s whole approach — something like Lena Dunham with pedal steel and big hair. Her follow-up is more calculated and confident, intent on both courting and bending the mainstream with wit and timeless arrangements. It misses some of Trailer’s storytelling wistfulness and formal experiments — but track for track, it’s stronger, an object lesson in Nashville songwriting.

Musgraves and her A-list co-writers (including Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark and others) deliver enough needlepoint homilies to launch an Etsy business. On haters: “Pissin’ in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener” (“Biscuits”). On the music biz: “Another gear in a big machine don’t sound like fun to me” (“Good Ol’ Boys Club”). On sketchy relatives: “They might smoke like chimneys but give you their kidneys” (“Family Is Family”). Songs like the title track allude to Musgraves’ whiplash fame, but she dodges any second-album slump with weed jokes and homegirl charm. And as a stellar hidden-track duet with Willie Nelson (“Are You Sure”) demonstrates, she’s earned that fame, every inch.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.