Going Against The Grain Of Teen Country Pop Of The Era, Kasey Musgraves’ Debut Album Same Trailer Different Park Is Harbinger Of Talent To Come

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 6 mins read

The year was 2013 when Same Trailer Different Park, a popular time for artists such as Taylor Swift (her Country Pop album Red came out in 2012), but there is a definite difference to the sound of Kasey Musgraves album that connects it to Country rather than an overly Pop version of it. Running the gamut from soft acoustic and harder Rock edge, there is something for every taste found on Same Trailer Different Park, and what is most charming as I listen is the inventive notes that find purchase out of nowhere, and the overall traditional way in which this artist sings. It’s not the twangiest voice I’ve ever heard, and certainly not high pitched or anything like Dolly Parton of old or new Margo Price, but rather warm and somewhat husky from time to time. I’d say, it is definitely the voice of a girl, but infused with some tomboyishness which ends up really covering all vocal bases at the end of the day. Apparently, she is someone who has been singing and writing since a very early age (performing for the first time at 8 I heard), and it is this mature know how that accompanies each track on the album, elevating it beyond the generic or Pop pandering elements that Country Pop was undergoing at the time – especially with female artists. In fact, it is less like young girl material, and a bit more like the exploratory songwriting of Sheryl Crow – with a similar rockier vocal whine as well. It is too much fun when I get my hands on an album where all the songs sound great – and knowing how creative Musgraves has musically become since, it was exciting to hear how it all started.

I Love Album Experiences Where The Track Order Is Designed With Styles In Mind

Sometimes you’ll get an album where all the hits are in the beginning, while others save them for the end, or whole sub genres are grouped in ordered sections, but here, I rather think that each song comes on when it needs to, so the variety can be heard throughout the duration. Things kick off nicely with “Silver Lining”, a haunting acoustic strum-along whose melody I’ve never really heard before – the mark of an original artist. I have no idea where the notes come from or are going, but man, do I love each and every one. Kacey Musgraves’ vocals lilt and blend with the melody line so well, going places that less sophisticated acts simply don’t go – perhaps out of fear of not being catchy enough for the audience or something. This is not some atmospheric meandering piece though – it’s a real song with a real structure – it’s just that the notes are never the easy ones and that is what makes a ballad more emotional and memorable to me. But to be sure, it’s is not overly melancholic – it has a hop along spirit that perfectly mirrors the point of its title – “Silver Lining.” My favorite kind of song dance back and forth between sunshine and rain. The song suggests “if you want to find a four leaf clover, you’r gonna have to get some dirt on your hands.” Perfect lyrics. A sprite and old fashioned acoustic knee slapped takes us back to the rich days of such music, but twists it in a new way with some really odd and beautiful key changes that ‘just’ fit. If you didn’t know by now, this girl can write a dang song. Then we are back to somber choruses that you can’t help but feel connected to – as it bittersweetly describes how life can’t be paused, as it’s title suggests “Merry Go Round.” Again, the haunting guitar slide notes are like ‘where the heck did you pull that rabbit out of?’ It truly pulls at your heart, without making you too sad. So from acoustic numbers to bluegrass excitement, we also get some Rock n Roll through “Blowin’ Smoke”, where Musgraves adopts a more youthful and drawl heavy accent set to a sort of bad ass track which has all the ingredients for being real loud and anthemic, yet keeps most of the energy bottled up. It is perfect exactly how it is, but its is also intriguing to detect that the same exact song in the hands of Aerosmith or Bon Jovi would be a mega loud 80s Hair Metal track, by just switching out the instruments.

When You Thought You Heard It All, There’s More, From Spanish To Americana Folk

I was pleasantly surprised by the Spanish influences to be found on “I Miss You”, which, though I’m a Country novice, I would say probably fits the sub genre of Tex Mex. We have a Latin time signature, but also banjos and slide guitars which sound like they’d sound right as rain in a cowboy western. I have always loved how romantically such sounds can come together, and the lyrics are sad but kind of hopeful, where Kacey Musgraves describes how lucky her life has been lately, though she feels empty still because she admits that she misses a guy she has just ran into. I like how that is not the usual thru-line for a break up song – and more realistic to what really happens in life. With a more American spin to the acoustics, “It Is What It Is” transports me back in time to the days of the pioneers, hooking me with some of the most beautiful notes I’ve heard in a long time – and there is nothing sweeter than Musgraves forlorn whining vocal over just how much she loves a man, unabashedly. “Back On the Map” is the most Pop forward beat on the track, and it still manages to promote analog instrumentation’s and banjo – showing suck dedication to traditionalism even on a modern drum beat. “Step Off” hops along and is probably the second obvious Pop arrangement because of it’s bright beachy vibe. “Dandelion” and “Keep It Yourself” are good tracks, but get a little lost amidst more memorable music on the album, but that is quite an achievement, to have all of your debut music come across in such an accomplished way. There’s nothing that Kasey Musgraves, and we would only see her creatively morph throughout her career into one of the most creative and original artists of today. I feel the raw banjo rocker of “Stupid” is one of the clearest indicators of the edgy style she will push hard for in time.

2. Track List (12)

3. Official (12)

4. Live (8)

5. Featuring Remixes (2)

7. Similar Albums (1)

8. Similar Artists (2)

9. Album Info

About

Same Trailer Different Park is the major label debut album by American country music artist Kacey Musgraves, released on March 19, 2013, through Mercury Nashville. Musgraves co-wrote all 12 tracks and co-produced the album with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
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Songwriter

  • Kacey Musgraves

Label

  • Mercury Nashville

Producer

  • Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves