Let me set the scene…two lovers ripped right at the seams
The first moments of Star Crossed are a spine tingling indication of what’s to come. What was a peaceful Golden Hour type of love has gone up in smoke. The lights are out. Things aren’t the same, but are they worse? As I dive into Kacey’s heartbreak manifesto for the second time, I’m still not sure. All I know is this era is vivid and haunting. The tracks on the album are unlike anything we’ve heard from her.
Star Crossed the album and film were released on September 10, 2021. Kacey Musgraves has been teasing new music for the last year following her divorce from former husband, Ruston Kelly. Regarding the split Kacey has said, “it simply didn’t work.” With the release of Star Crossed, Kacey has provided her audience with a front row seat to her healing process. A healing process that has been anything, but linear. The album is seemingly split into three parts.
The first explains what went wrong. The second track, “Good Wife” details the pressure Kacey felt in her marriage to be everything her ex husband wanted. The wife trope was filled with expectations and drudgery. “Simple Times” is a relatable track with a nostalgic style. Kacey laments about wanting to put everything on pause and “kick it at the mall like there’s nothing wrong.” She sings about wanting a break from expectation just to be with her friends. The other tracks in this first section explain Kacey’s pain and denial about the end of her relationship.
The second section of the album exhibits all the mid-breakup feelings. That angst from seeing pictures on your phone of memories you’d like to forget (“camera roll”). Those contradicting feelings of lust and disdain (“justified”). One of the most revealing tracks on the album is definitely “breadwinner.” Kacey shares her former husband’’s jealousy of her success over a fun, 90s style dance beat…genius.
The final section of the album feels the most classic Kacey Musgraves. It’s filled with self-affirming songs and hope for better days to come. Tracks like “keep looking up” and “what doesn’t kill me” encapsulate the good days during a bad year. The second to last track “there is a light” is my personal favorite on the album. The chorus goes, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a light inside of me.” It is a triumphant ending to the album and a glimpse into what’s to come for Kacey.
Was this a review or an ode to Kacey Musgraves? You can decide. Either way, Star Crossed is my recommendation for anyone on their own healing journey. There is a light even if you can’t see it right now.