Part almanac promotion, allotment brainwork on agreeable themes, and allotment advantageously benumbed agitation dream, Star-Crossed (Paramount ) puts a blend of fun, abstracted visuals to the actual from Kacey Musgraves’ just-released fourth flat anthology of the aforementioned name. Songwriting vestiges of the singer’s country roots remain. But the actual actuality that this blur exists, as able-bodied as its adept attending and feel, attests to Musgraves’ pop music assimilation.
The Gist: In 2013, Aforementioned Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves’ above characterization debut, netted the Texas-born accompanist and songwriter a Best Country Anthology Grammy on the backbone of its plainspoken lyrics, aciculate wit, and actual Nashville grooves. Pageant Material, her melancholic, added claimed 2014 follow-up, was nominated in the aforementioned category. And by 2018, Musgraves had emerged with Golden Hour, the anthology that furthered her abiding change from beeline country music to article added like pop, and the one bestowed with Anthology of the Year ceremoniousness and certified Platinum status. Everybody was admiring Spacey Kacey; in that actor lumen spotlight, it’s no admiration her aboriginal alliance to country singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly didn’t survive. Now it’s 2021, and area it stops for Musgraves, cipher knows. But the amusing go ‘round ain’t slowin’ down, and appropriately she’s arise that allegiant certificate of country music tradition, a annulment album, brave with her stylistic change against lip-gloss pop.
Star-Crossed is an anthology cycle, its 15 songs cataloging Musgraves’ affections during her marriage, from aboriginal blush, to surging tension, cresting heartbreak, and ultimately claimed redemption. Star-Crossed the accompanying blur follows that tack, its 48-minute breadth apery the almanac in three acts. Musgrave came up with the concept, calm with administrator Bardia Zeinali, and cinematographer and common Darren Aronofsky assistant Matthew Libatique provides some generally arresting visuals. Magical accuracy is the criterion actuality — Musgraves and a set of alternating abstracts arise in forms of absurd bells finery, or in ivory tweed brim apparel from Chanel; they binge through a capital while attractive actually fabulous, or bang a affectation abutting to comatose cars and dreamworld hospitals beeline out of an Adrian Lyne film. A blush palette of pink, crumb blue, white satin, and vermillion blends with the California sun, and all the while Musgraves campaign through the Star-Crossed songs, occasionally in accepted lip-synch but added generally affective in amplitude with the material, actualization as its axial amount as the music stops short, slows down, or drifts into an analytic miasma. This Star-Crossed blur takes abode in a brume of Musgraves’ own making, and that’s not aloof her edger smoke talking.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of? Kanye West has additionally probed annulment as a aesthetic aperture with his new anthology Donda. But aback in 2010, the polarizing rap artisan was benumbed aerial with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a almanac he accompanied and interpreted with the arty, actual ‘Ye abbreviate blur Runaway. And one area acclimated in Star-Crossed ability attending accustomed to blur buffs, or admirers of weddings gone bad — the dusty, abandoned abbey in Lancaster, Calif. area Quentin Tarantino staged “The Bride”’s bells annihilation in Annihilate Bill: Volume 1 surfaces actuality with a neon assurance alms annulments for $15.95.
Performance Worth Watching: The aboriginal act of Star-Crossed depicts Musgraves and her aggregation as “anti-matrimonials,” heisters who apprehension up abatement conjugal boutiques for bliss and satisfaction, and a standout affiliate of the assemblage is Symone, the champ of Drag Race division 13. Not to be outdone is banana Megan Statler, amphitheatre an accoutrements banker who hooks up Kacey’s agglomeration with a clamp of outsized Medieval affray weapons including a morning brilliant and a mace.
Memorable Dialogue: “Woke up from the absolute dream…” “…Bein’ developed up kinda sucks sometimes; absolutely aloof missin’ my simple times…” “…If I was an angel, aggregate would be better…” “…Healing doesn’t appear in a beeline line”: Star-Crossed the anthology is abounding of representative, heart-on-torn sleeve couplets that don’t conceal at all area Musgraves is advancing from. And those lyrics act as signposts in Star-Crossed the film, bond its imaginative, colorful, and at times abstruse vignettes assimilate a alley map of Musgraves’ heart.
Sex and Skin: Nope.
Our Take: Sure, cigarettes are bad for you. But for decades they lent their blaze and brandish to the artiface of cool, so it’s notable that the audacious act of ripping a cig makes a little bit of a improvement in Star-Crossed. Kacey Musgraves has consistently had a able faculty of lyricism, and a adroitness for accent and accentuation to accommodate her words an earworm’s grasp. As she recalls the simple times, or the times fabricated abiding by an iPhone camera roll, Musgraves seeks to clean the affair no burst accord should anytime booty away: herself, and by association, her faculty of cool.
That affect is represented best in Star-Crossed by those little accomplishments — cigarettes and joints lit, or the dreamscape of a finishing academy systematically destroyed by an outlier like Kacey. But it’s additionally appropriate with added force by the women who hover consistently at the singer’s accept — they’re her muses, her sisters in grief, her protectors in trouble, and her ally in abomination and dancing. And that aftermost one goes full-fledged capricious disco with the redemptive late-album access “There Is a Light.”
The aged auto of advance accept become new again. But why await on a shared, awry belvedere back your beheld agreeable can own the absolute room? Star-Crossed the blur is freed from the constraints of MTV but about an antecedent of the music video, an interpretive, longform adaptation of the architecture and a adumbrative of the accumulated blooming ablaze accepted to the aesthetic whims of a multi-Platinum, Grammy-winning artist. And by actualization on a banderole like Paramount , it additionally widens the promotional brand for an artisan still attractive herself with a beyond pop admirers and who’s slated to comedy a cord of 20,000-seat amphitheatre dates in 2021. There’s affluence of Kacey Musgraves agreeable actuality for accustomed fans. But it’s the newcomers who ability be added affably afraid by the adroitness and aesthetic affection on display.
Our Call: STREAM IT. This beheld accessory to Kacey Musgraves’ Star-Crossed anthology lightens the affecting amount of what amounts to a annulment record. If you’re already a amplitude cowboy like Musgraves, it’s absolutely for you. If not, band in. And remember: what doesn’t annihilate you bigger run.
Johnny Loftus is an absolute biographer and editor active at ample in Chicagoland. His assignment has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges
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