Kacey Musgraves is this decade’s answer to Taylor Swift, bringing modern appeal to country music and doing her own thing too – but it’s just that Musgraves is even better and truer to her roots.
Kicking off the Christmas music season in style is her Christmas album “A Very Kacey Christmas” which manages to blend a bunch of different musical styles together with a helping of guest stars and raw talent to make something very special indeed.
Listening to this album is a strange experience in some ways but one that I enjoyed. It’s definitely rooted in country, but it blend’s in other influences like Hawaiian on the cover of Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka”, and the Quebe Sisters mimicking of the Andrews’ Sisters on that track and “Let it Snow”. There’s also a touch of Mexico in there too, with a really surprisingly good cover of “Feliz Navidad” – one of the most popular Christmas songs internationally.
To me the stand-out records from the album are the ones that Musgraves has penned herself, funnily enough both referring to bows in their title.
“Ribbons and Bows” is the album’s lead single and is the fun, show-stealing track buried deep into the album that packs the most pop. It’s everything a Christmas song should be, with that cheery tone, the jingle of bells and a little heartstring tugging message to along with it too. It’s destined to be the backing track for Christmas adverts for years to come, but it deserves a whole lot more than that.
In a similar vein, “Present Without a Bow” goes on the more softer and slower side of the Christmas tunes – with the duet between Musgraves and Leon Bridges taking the form of a couple apart at Christmas and longing to be together. It’s a solid song and perhaps one of the most poppy Kacey has ever done, but also a really good song in its’ own right.
The covers of Christmas classics manage to do just the trick too, with the trademark delivery of that country-spun crystal clear voice being perfect for the likes of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Let it Snow” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.
There are some odd turns though, with a slightly more “festive” take on Christmas courtesy of the ode-to-marijuana “Have a Willie Nice Christmas” featuring the country legend and weed “enthusiast” Willie Nelson. It’s not quite the family-friendly, wholesome tune you’d expect on this sort of record – but it does add to the fun factor on first listen for sure.
All-in-all though, if you’re looking to shake up your Christmas playlist then this album is packed full of songs to do just that. Kacey Musgraves is country’s rising star, and this record definitely shows she deserves to sit atop the Christmas tree this year.