Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
1 CD(s) - Contemporary Country - Label: Mercury Nashville - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 15/04/2013 - 602537140961
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves"
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Whilst Kacey Musgraves' second album, "Pageant Material", might have been unfortunately deprived of awards by the sheer bad luck of being released in the same year as Chris Stapleton's "Traveler", an album which swept award ceremonies, her first major label album wasn't so unlucky. "Same Trailer, Different Park" did lose out as best album at the 2013 Country Music Awards, but it won her New Act of the Year at those awards and won Best Country Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards and topped the US Country Charts on two separate occasions nearly 10 months apart. The third single from the album, "Follow Your Arrow", was also Song of the Year at the 2014 Country Music Awards. That's a pretty auspicious debut by anyone's standards.The album opens on "Silver Lining", which is as perfect as introduction to Kacey Musgraves' music as you're likely to get. It's a mid-tempo pop song with country undertones, with a bit of pedal steel guitar and Musgraves' vocal. It's lyrically downbeat, but has a toe-tapping beat and has some fantastic observational lyrical moments, which gently encourage and stray well away from the normal country music staples of drinking and smoking dodgy substances. This is one of the album's longer tracks, but with Musgraves' sweetly perfect vocal and her lyrical quality, it's a great start.
"My House" has a more upbeat tempo and with the harmonica early on and a slight twang to the vocal, it has more of a country feel, verging towards bluegrass. Once again, there is a great toe-tapping beat and the lyrical message about being near a loved one is a little more upbeat that previously, nicely matching the tempo. The lyrical subject matches the music here as well, as the house is question turns out to be a trailer rather than a fixed build, which is quite a country staple to go along with the country sound.The third track was the first single from the album and once again "Merry Go 'Round" has a decent toe-tapping beat and a country feel with the banjo and acoustic guitars prominent and the pedal steel guitar underpinning everything. Whilst the lyric is quite downbeat in tone, with lines like "Momma's hooked on Mark Kay, brother's hooked on maryjane, and Daddy's hooked on Mary two doors down" and talking about "we get bored, so we get married", when this is combined with some nursery rhyme lyrics and with Musgraves' sweetly delivered vocal, it's tough to feel that everything is as bad as it sounds, even if the Merry Go 'Round of the title is described as broken.
The slower, slightly bassier opening to "Dandelion" doesn't give a hint of what it to come. It starts slowly and down-tempo, and with Musgraves' sweet vocal, it sounds a little like a country-tinged Vanessa Carlton. The acoustic guitar is to the fore again, with a hint of pedal steel guitar, but this is mostly a pop song and the sweet vocal adds to the melancholy of the lyric and it's a beautifully sad song.There is a complete change of mood and sound for "Blowin' Smoke", which was the album's second single. There's a country-rock feel to the song, which will always meet with my approval, as it's a genre I'm a huge fan of. There's a very country feel to the lyric, coming from the point of view of a small-town waitress wanting to improve their lot whilst on a smoke break, with the title taking on a double meaning. As is common with much of Musgraves' lyrics, there's a darkly humourous bite to some of the lyrics, as in "still ain't lost that baby weight and that's baby's about to graduate from college",
The mood and music change back for "I Miss You", once again sounding a little like a countryfied Vanessa Carlton, with a ballad tempo and acoustic and pedal steel guitar to the fore, although with a deep electric guitar solo in a couple of points. The lyric has a downbeat feel to match the tempo of the song here as well and Musgraves' vocal seems perfectly placed to deliver a downbeat lyric and, as a long time fan, I did appreciate the lyrical nod towards John Denver.The banjo opening to "Step Off" returns us to country territory and the slightly more up-tempo beat gets the toes tapping a little bit more. This time, the sweet vocal delivery hides a pointed message for negative people that has a little resonance not long after the recent US election campaigning and the tone that took.
"Back On The Map" also has a banjo opening, but with a heavy drumbeat and a much slower tempo and a slightly deeper vocal, there's quite a depressing feel to this song and it has more of a pop feel than the banjo undercutting everything might suggest. The vocal and lyrics don't offer any respite to the darkness in the music as they have done before and with this being the only song on the album stretching beyond four minutes, it becomes the only one that outstays its welcome. Annoyingly, the whole song reminds me of something else that I can't quite put my finger on.The fourth single from the album was "Keep It To Yourself" and it offers an immediate respite to the last track, with the pedal steel guitar coming back in and announcing this as a country-pop number quite early on. Once again, however, the story of loneliness in the lyric is added to by Musgraves' vocal and this is a very sad song, but beautifully put together.
There's a jaunty opening to "Stupid" which seems a little incongruous on this album, but driven by the drumbeat, this turns into a rousing country track. There are some pointed lyrics, but these are largely driven by a great up-tempo country rock beat and this is a fantastic track that has the feet tapping all the way through and it sounds like a country and western party song, although it's not quite up-tempo enough for a barn dance.Next up is the award-winning "Follow Your Arrow" and it's easy to see why it should be thought of so highly. The pointed lyrics highlight the hypocrisy in modern media, right from the opening "If you save yourself for marriage you're a bore, if you don't save yourself for marriage you're a horrible person" and carrying on in this vein. There is a perfect country-style sing along chorus which has references to sexual equality, which is a subject very rarely broached in the ultra conservative world of country music. This is a fantastic song with all the elements of a great country song, with the upbeat, toe-tapping beat, the prominent pedal steel guitar and that great chorus. But at the same time, it contains a very non-country message which probably helped Little Big Town's "Girl Crush", another song viewed with suspicion by country fans, follow this song as the CMA Song of the Year.
The album ends on "It Is What It Is", which is another down-tempo country ballad, with pedal steel guitar and acoustic guitar prominent. Once again, there is a downbeat message and there's not much variation in musical or vocal delivery which makes it drag a little, but there is a beautiful melancholy to the vocal that fits the song perfectly and whilst it's not the best track on the album, it's very much a signature Kacey Musgraves song, which makes it a perfect end to the album.Whilst I prefer her second album, largely because that album is more upbeat and has more humour in the lyrics, this is a very solid major label debut from Kacey Musgraves. The age of the album means it's only £5.99 from Amazon for 12 tracks and 41 minutes of very solid country-pop music and can be found slightly cheaper than that for a used copy. The downbeat tone means it's not one to listen to when you're feeling down, although it would provide a decent soundtrack to a break-up and it does highlight Musgraves' ability to not only write a clever lyric, but to deliver it perfectly and it's easy to see how she was able to do so well with this album and what has followed.
Product Information : Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
Manufacturer's product description1 CD(s) - Contemporary Country - Label: Mercury Nashville - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 15/04/2013 - 602537140961
Listed on Ciao since: 14/03/2013