Pageant Material

Pageant Material

by Kacey MusgravesKacey Musgraves


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If Kacey Musgraves didn't possess a sense of irony, there'd be a sense of triumph to Pageant Material, the title of her second album. Her first, 2013's Same Trailer Different Park, caused a sensation in certain quarters, racking up accolades that outweighed its sales -- a situation reflecting country radio's systematic resistance to female artists more than the music itself. Despite this conspicuous lack of hits, Pageant Material doesn't make concessions to commercial radio. It is of a piece with Same Trailer Different Park, partially because a chunk of it was written around the same time, partially because Musgraves decides to move forward by harnessing the subtlety of "Merry Go 'Round" and "Follow Your Arrow," using their understated folk as a touchstone for her sophomore set. Despite the briskness of the near-novelty "Biscuits" -- its chorus call of "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy" revealing a taste for country corn somewhat at odds with a progressive reputation based on the all-inclusive "Follow Your Arrow," not to mention her fondness for weed (a predilection that resurfaces elsewhere here) -- Pageant Material favors softness, sometimes nearly swooning in its slowness, especially on the gorgeous keynote "High Time" and the closer "Fine," both so deliberate and hazy they evoke memories of lazy high-school dances. This lush sound is old-fashioned but, despite her stated rebellion and taste for weed, much of Musgraves' sensibility is fairly traditional. She and her collaborators -- usually co-producers Shane McAnally and Luke Laird, but Brandy Clark, Josh Osborne, and Natalie Hemby also bear credits -- concentrate on sculpting songs, tunes so subtle they benefit from the pretty, shaded production. Not all of Pageant Material sustains this delicately textured blend of song and sounds -- apart from "Biscuits," she stumbles when she gets lighter, particularly on "Family Is Family," where it seems like she can't wait to be rid of those leeches -- but it's hardly enough to prevent the album from being a rich, enchanting collection of stories, confessions, and the occasional joke.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/23/2015
Label: Mercury Nashville
UPC: 0602547235077
catalogNumber: 002281602
Rank: 25592

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kacey Musgraves   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Human Whistle
Willie Nelson   Vocals
David Angell   Violin
David Davidson   Violin
Natalie Hemby   Background Vocals
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Fred Eltringham   Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Bells,Shaker
Wei Tsun Chang   Violin
Monisa Angell   Viola
Karen Winkelmann   Violin
Shane McAnally   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ian Fitchuk   Piano,Harp,Bells,Mellotron,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Jordan Lehning   Conductor
Zeneba Bowers   Violin
Charlie Worsham   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Ukulele
Luke Laird   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Gut String Guitar
Zach Casebolt   Violin
Josh Osborne   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Lindsey Smith-Trostle   Cello
Kyle Ryan   Banjo,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Wood Spoons
Adam Keafer   Bass,Upright Bass
Anthony La Marchina   Cello
Katelyn Westergard   Violin
Misa Arriaga   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Gut String Guitar,Shaker,Guitar (Baritone)

Technical Credits

Natalie Hemby   Composer
Ashley Arrison   Composer
Shane McAnally   Composer,Producer
Jordan Lehning   String Arrangements
Kacey Musgraves   Composer,Producer
Luke Laird   Composer,Programming,Producer
Ryan Gore   Engineer
Brandy Clark   Composer
Josh Osborne   Composer
Kelly Christine Sutton   Art Direction

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