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Kacey Musgraves: Pageant Material


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From The Telegraph:
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“Small-town Texan singer Kacey Musgraves caused a stir at last year’s Grammy awards when she beat Taylor Swift to the podium, winning both Best Country Song and Best Country Album. The album – Same Trailer Different Park – revealed a songwriter of easy-going charm and quick wit, inspired by the vintage country cool of Roger “King of the Road” Miller and John Prine. The song – “Follow Your Arrow” – was a sparky little self-acceptance anthem which ruffled Nashville’s conservative feathers with a chorus that ran: “Make lots of noise/ Kiss lots of boys/ Or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into/ When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight/ Roll up a joint, or don’t (I would!)/ Just follow your arrow wherever it points.” Her new album is a successful repetition of the formula: sweet, crisp country licks with witty twists of live-and-let-live philosophy. First single “Biscuits” bounces with banjo as Musgraves advises listeners to “Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy”. There’s a simple warmth and motivational pluck to Musgraves that recalls Dolly Parton. Her record label fought for her to change the first word of the line “Pissin’ in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener” to “Spittin’ ” but she refused. And why should she make concessions to the Stetsoned FM jocks? According to Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, all 13 of 2014’s most-played country songs were by male artists. It’s a big problem for the genre, but Musgraves cheerfully dismisses the sexists on “Good Ol’ Boys Club”, declaring: “I don’t need a membership to validate/ The hard work I’ve put in and the dues I’ve paid/ Cigars and handshakes?/ ’Preciate ya, but no thanks.” The song also takes a cheeky swipe at her more polished peer Taylor Swift as Musgrave refuses to be “another gear in a big machine”: Big Machine being the label that has overseen Swift’s crossover from country to pop. The good-natured rebellion continues on title song “Pageant Material”, in which Musgraves brushes off the expectations placed on a Southern girl. “I ain’t pageant material/ I’m always higher than my hair/ And it ain’t that I don’t care about world peace/ But I don’t see how I can fix it in a swimsuit.” Slower numbers laze in sun-dazed pedal steel and the dreamy opener, “High Time”, even has a whistling hook. Once she’s finished putting the boot into Nashville, this self-professed “Dimestore Cowgirl” sure knows how to put her boots up.”
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Pageant Material is out now on Mercury Nashville; check out “Biscuits” below.
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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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