This is the first album that I’ve repeatedly listened to in the last month. It’s a good album. I don’t care that I’m maybe not the target audience I’ve enjoyed it tremendously and repeatedly for the last week. Maybe I’m out of touch with the country starlet world but I feel like this album is what Taylor Swift could have been if she continued down her country path and forgone the whole rivalry with the greatest artist of our generation.
The 13 songs on this album range from country to straight up pop. There’s a fair amount of cheesiness sprinkled throughout but it’s all done with such earnestness that one can’t help but relate or at the very least recognize that these feelings are genuine. I’m also a big fan of the fat-ish snare drum sound used in many of the songs. There’s three songs on it that I’d really like to highlight “Slow Burn”, “ Golden Hour”, and “ Oh, What a World”.
The opening track “Slow Burn” starts with an acoustic guitar and Ms. Musgraves singing descriptive couplets about her life that from the first one make you go “huh yeah, me too”. The first chorus hits and she talks about how it’s ok to take your time, develop at your own pace it’ll be alright.. It’s incredibly reassuring and something that most anyone that’s around her age (late 20s early 30s) can always stand to hear. The second verse starts and the drum set kicks in, sounding fantastic then a couple of bass lines later I’m all in. I love this song.
The titular track, “Golden Hour” is an honest to goodness love song for the instagram generation, I’m only throwing in instagram because I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of listeners learned about what the golden hour is because of all the #NoFilter pics that exist highlighting that time. In any case, the song oozes with authenticity and vulnerability and anyone who’s been delightfully in love can relate to this song. A simple drum beat, simple upbeat guitar strums and electric guitar sprinkled throughout. The simple arrangement allows Kacey’s voice to really shine through. The chorus again ends with the affirmation that everything’s gonna be alright. A recurring theme of this album again and again seems to be gratitude and the recognition that it’s ok to realize you’re in a good place.
The last song I want to highlight is “Oh, What a World”. This to me is the most surprising song on the album, and I can’t believe I like it as much as I do. On the surface if you were to hear that a song features a Daft Punk like vocoder intro, slide guitar, a prevalent banjo backed chorus with a list of things things in the world that are cool what are the odds you’d think it would be a good song? This song is always bordering on cheesy, yet you’d be lying if you said you never had some of these thoughts when taking a moment to look at our world. Maybe it was an early morning on a good vacation, or late at night during a perfect breeze evening. There’s a lot of gratitude, a lot of recognition of the moment, a lot of being present in the moment in the song which is then punctuated by the best end of a chorus “And then there is you”. In all the impossibility of the world with all its delicately resilient intricacies and the miracles the greatest of them is the love right next to you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a country fan, a woman, a man,a child, or a mexican dude in his 30s who eats way too much McDonald’s for your own good. This is a good album and you should listen to it.