Kacey Musgraves – Deeper Well (MCA Nashville) (Album Review)

Kacey Musgraves proves she’s still a little bit country on Deeper Well, her sixth studio album, but only just a little.

Listening to the first few seconds of opening track, Cardinal, and the production is so warm and rich, it almost feels like an aural hug wrapped around your ears, especially when that guitar chord rings in before Kacey’s vocal…you’ll be California Dreamin’ all over again…then the drums kick in and you’ll swear this is an outtake from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

Musical signposts pop up throughout the 14 songs that make up Deeper Well. I swear that’s Herbie Flowers’ bassline from Walk On The Wild Side bubbling under the title track and album closer, Nothing To Be Scared Of will have you reaching for your old Simon & Garfunkel albums.

But that’s not to say this is solely a derivative collection of classic hits, reworked for 2024.

Kacey Musgraves has her own voice and it sounds like an intimate friend whispering in your ear as she sings, “be good to me and I’ll be good to you “, on Too Good To Be True, a tune whose acoustic guitar reminds this old classic rocker of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind.

Like all of us, Kacey gone through some stuff over the past few years including a marriage and divorce with fellow singer/songwriter Ruston Kelly. But it sounds like Kacey is coming through the other side feelin’…um, groovy.

“My Saturn has returned”, she sings triumphantly on the title track. “When I turned 27, everything started to change…so I’m sayin’ goodbye to the people that I feel are real good at wastin’ my time”.

Out with the old, in with the new!

Musgraves’ biographical lyrics and stories are pure country, but the music here is more pop/rock the Americana.

Case in point…Sway features percolating percussion and works up to some multi-layer vocal harmonies that sound like the baroque folk of John Martyn or Tim Buckley.

This near-perfect album begins to lose momentum near the end…tracks 11 and 12 (Lonely Millionaire and Heaven Is had me glancing at my watch…but then Kacey comes back with Anime Eyes and Nothing To Be Scared Of, two winning tracks that will have you reaching for the replay button as soon as they’ve faded out.

This Texas native will always have one foot in country music, but Kacey Musgraves’ song writing should appeal to anyone who appreciates good, solid, heartfelt songwriting and a voice to back it up.

Marty Duda

Kacey Musgraves – Deeper Well is out now on MCA Nashville

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