Kacey Musgraves - 'Pageant Material'

kacey musgraves pagent material 2015June 23rd marked the release of Kacey Musgraves' second major label album, Pageant Material. Whilst continuing to produce a sound more linked to traditional country than to the country pop/rock of her contemporaries, Kacey has released a very strong album in the form of Pageant Material, and one that is, in my opinion, a lot stronger than Same Trailer, Different Park.

The album's title track is full of great lyrics with "it ain't that I don't care about world peace but I don't see how I can fix it in a swimsuit on a stage" being one of the best lines. The whole track has a steady pace that encourages you to tap your feet along with the drum line providing the majority of that steady base line. The overall production comes together to create a really strong track.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is Dime Store Cowgirl. With a similar overall sound to Pageant Material, Dime Store Cowgirl's production is one of the best parts of the track, with a traditional country sound and a catchy, strong beat that keeps the track interesting and makes you want to keep playing it.

I also really like Late To The Party. One of the slower, softer tracks on the album, Late To The Party is smartly positioned between Dime Store Cowgirl and Pageant Material. As with Kacey's other tracks Late To The Party is full of great lyrics. "I'm never late to the party if I'm late to the party with you" is really touching and Kacey's vocal feels very heartfelt and emotive.

There are, unfortunately, a few tracks that I didn't enjoy so much. Die Fun quickly feels dull, with no bite to Kacey's vocal and an instrumentalisation that, whilst varied enough, does nothing to really draw a listener in. I really wanted to like Kacey's duet with Willie Nelson but, as with Die Fun, Are You Sure just feels dull. I would have also have liked to hear Kacey and Willie actually sing together for more than a couple of seconds, it feels as though their voices don't really gel properly in this set-up.

Track listing....
1) High Time - Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
2) Dime Store Cowgirl - Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
3) Late To The Party - Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Josh Osborne
4) Pageant Material - Kacey Musgraces, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
5) This Town - Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, Brandy Clark
6) Biscuits - Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark
7) Somebody To Love  - Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
8) Miserable - Kacey Musgraves, Josh Osborne, Brandy Clark
9) Die Fun - Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
10) Family Is Family - Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
11) Good Ol' Boys Club - Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby
12) Cup Of Tea - Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
13) Fine - Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Arrison, Shane McAnally
14) Are You Sure (feat. Willie Nelson) (HIDDEN TRACK) - Willie Nelson, Buddy Emmons

As I said initially, Pageant Material is a very strong album overall. As has become expected from Kacey Musgraves tracks the lyrics are very strong and are the best part of some of these songs. I was also really impressed by a lot of the production choices. Whilst not my favourite of the albums released so far this year, Pageant Material is undoubtedly impressive and feels more listener friendly than Same Trailer, Different Park. I would recommend it to country fans - specifically if you are a fan of more traditional country - and I am sure I will be listening to it a lot.