Opinion: Musgraves wins with ‘Golden Hour’

Nate Olsen, Staff Writer

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Country music as we knew it, can have a very polarizing effect on people. The genre-defining twang of guitars, negative habit inspiring lyrics and yodel-esk voices have made countless generations develop an urge to either square dance along, or punch a hole through the radio they were listening to.

It must be noted, however, that this is the sound of the country music of a bygone era, an era defined by the voices of Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Marty Robbins. This is not the same era we are in today.

We have the pleasure of listening to country music of a different sort, a country music which is at home on the pop radio station in Connecticut as it is on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee.

This is as evident as ever with Kacey Musgraves’ album ‘Golden Hour’ winning the Grammy award for Album of the Year. An award it shares with cultal icons such as Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ and Adele’s ‘25.’

‘Golden Hour’ is laden with excellent tracks, with sounds ranging from classic country to a modern twist on disco; it has a very broad appeal for an artist’s third full album.

This goes to speak of the direction country is headed, which is towards mass appeal. Over recent years, it has become apparent that country singers are no longer satisfied with their very specific audience. They know that the devout country fans will always listen to what they produce, regardless of the album; it is the casual music listener they need to attract.

They do this by accentuating country music’s characteristics which make it not only unique but appealing, like its ease of listening and relatability. Musgraves does just this.

With her melodic voice and slowly delivered, simple lyrics, she attracts everyone to her music. There is nothing abrasive about this entire album.

Some critics might say this just means it is uncreative by default, and appealing to the masses is nothing short of selling out. However, just because something isn’t abrasive doesn’t mean it is lacking in character.

There are circumstances, admittedly rare, when just the right thing was made by just the right people, at just the right time, and this thing is ‘Golden Hour.’

Kacey Musgraves has not only found a voice for herself in the latest album, but the voice for a new and modern country as well.

If fellow artists follow in her footsteps, there is no doubt country music will find its way to the playlists of countless more listeners.