Kacey Musgraves, "Same Trailer Different Park" (Mercury Nashville)
It's a long way from nowhere Texas to the bright lights of Nashville, Tenn. Well, country music can thank Kacey Musgraves for finding her way, through smart lyrics, arrangements free of bluster and a tone that's all her own on her debut major label release, "Same Trailer Different Park."
You don't have to like country music to love Musgraves' sound. It's light and folksy with a glint of Nashville tinsel. And her lyrics, delivered without too many tricks of the trade, easily win over the ear. "Blowin' Smoke" and "Step off" have a salty swagger, but mostly we get a seasoned Musgraves here, as on "Silver Lining," polished as she sings of personal bravery in an uncertain world.
I like my country stars with a few emotional scars and Musgraves sounds like she knows something about that. Taylor Swift's cross-over country sound is musical dessert, but this is a real meal.