Pageant Material

AlbumbyKacey Musgraves

Released in 2015, 14 tracks, 41 min

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Country

Narratives

"Pageant Material"

Pageant Material: Kacey Musgraves at Her Most Mainstream

No matter how many times I listen to this album, I’m always surprised by how little I learn about Kacey Musgraves as a person. For an album that on the surface seems fairly personal, it’s remarkably impersonal. It’s called Pageant Material, a satirical title in that Musgraves clearly emphasizes that she will never be ‘pageant material.’ But while you learn what Musgraves isn’t, you never truly learn what she is. But I think that’s okay. It’s essential to recognize that we hold country musicians who are male and female to very different standards when it comes to sharing their personal lives in their songs. Musicians who happen to be female are more expected to write as if they’re writing in their diary. I wouldn’t say this started with Taylor Swift, but she definitely elevated the presence of this expectation. Their songs have to be about their lives and their struggle. This is also a theme in all kinds of writing, where women are often expected to put a disproportioned amount of their life into their writing compared to men. Why do we not hold men to the same standard? Why do we look at Blake Shelton and say that it’s totally okay for him to sing songs that don’t relate to his life, yet we look at Kacey Musgraves and expect her to bare her soul in every song? Anyways, I just put my own feelings on blast, but that’s a pretty good description of how I feel about this album. It’s confusing, but also makes complete sense. It’s personal, but impersonal. It’s a contradiction in itself, making it a fascinating album to listen to closely and attempt to critically analyze.

Jun 14, 2019

Country’s Most Beloved New Popstar Kacey Musgraves Has Been A Sleeper Agent For Years

Country music as an entity has experienced an unprecedented amount of critical acclaim in the last decade, with 2018 being home to some of the most successful mainstream releases of all time, delighting countless listeners across the industry regardless of their favoured genres & prior prejudices of Country itself. Of these iconic releases, Kacey Musgraves shook us in spectacular fashion, seemingly coming out of nowhere to produce a near-perfect album of exquisite Traditional Country numbers titled Golden Hour that rekindled the splendor of Psychedelia, progressive thought & analog instrumentation long considered absent from the scene, all whilst promoting feministic ideals that inspired millions in the wake of modern culture’s much-needed #metoo movement, shaking things up in a major way for the first time since Florida Georgia Line popularized contemporary Country Pop all the way back in 2012 – You’d be forgiven for thinking this album was a labour of love that miraculously graced us with its presence considering the vast majority of audiences had never actually heard of Kacey Musgraves before she so brilliantly thrust her charming ways upon us, but the Golden, Texas-born songwriter has actually been making waves in the Country space since she was a child, releasing her first original composition at the tender age of 8 & continuing to hone her craft all throughout adolescence, passionately venturing into the festival-circuit the moment she graduated form high school until she finally found success with her first solo album Same Trailer Different Park in 2013. From the moment this album dropped, she’d already begun showcasing her incredible competence as a musician by delivering empowering female anthems with a southern twang clearly influenced by headstrong women like Dolly Parton & Miranda Lambert, though seeing as the Country machine was still treating younger female artists like Teen Pop idols who had nothing of value to say a la Taylor Swift & Miley Cyrus, her innate talents were continuously overlooked & modified to appeal to the lowest-common-denominator of audiences, unfortunately rendering her nothing more than a basic artist with a cult following. Thankfully, this all changed when she dropped her second & arguably most divisive album Pageant Material, turning the southern-belle Popstar archetype on its head by satirizing Country music itself & pushing a far more progressive feministic agenda in each quirky number, separating herself from the pack by showing she was not only a phenomenal performer but a force of nature to be reckoned with who was unafraid to challenge the status quo, setting the stage for her follow-up album to absolutely mop the floor with melodic creativity the likes of which no one was prepared for.

Mar 15, 2019

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"Pageant Material"

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"Pageant Material"

Featuring Remixes

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"Pageant Material"

Album Info

"Pageant Material"

Released

  • Jun 23, 2015

Genres

  • Country

Label

  • Mercury Nashville

Producer

  • Luke Laird
  • Shane McAnally
  • Kacey Musgraves

About

Pageant Material is the fifth studio album and second major label album by American country music artist Kacey Musgraves, released June 23, 2015, through Mercury Nashville. Musgraves co-wrote all 13 tracks and co-produced the album with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. The album made numerous "Best Albums of 2015" lists and was nominated for Best Country Album at the 58th Grammy Awards.
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