Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2015 Ratings: #180 / 770
User Score
Based on 135 ratings
2015 Ratings: #78
June 23, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mercury Nashville / Label
Country / Genres
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At 26, Musgraves has kept her wonder, honed her focus and remained true to her core.
This is an even better album than her last, with more consistency and variety. And Musgraves still excels at chiding Southern tradition.

There’s nothing not country about every step she takes; what separates and sends Musgraves soaring higher than her peers is her writing — the storytelling on Pageant Material could fill a memoir, secondary sources and all.


Her self-definition as an artist is an inescapable part of the storyline on Pageant Material; she better defines her persona than on the prior album, while dazzling us more with the surfaces and the interiors of the songs.

A.V. Club
She’s not pop country. She’s country, pure and simple, without all the glitter and flash.
Pretty Much Amazing

There are no stomping blues-rockers here, no rockabilly or harmonica hoedowns as there were on Same Trailer; everything’s pretty low-key. Sometimes this restraint can be tantalizing in the best ways.

This lush sound is old-fashioned but, despite her stated rebellion and taste for weed, much of Musgraves' sensibility is fairly traditional.
Smart, funny, empathetic and wise, Musgraves is one of the best in the business right now — even when it seems she might be treading water.
American Songwriter
From beginning to end, it’s an absolute charmer. Every pretty melody, every sweet-tart lyric, every vocal and instrumental flourish … they definitely earn her – to borrow a title-song reference – a 4.0.
One of the remarkable things about Musgraves is not how much she has deviated from country norms, but the way she expands them.
Today’s most successful country acts are big-hatted men singing fairytale homilies about trucks and broads. Musgraves’ willingness to address a life built on knotty contradictions give her songs resonance far beyond Golden’s borders.
Rolling Stone

It misses some of Trailer's storytelling wistfulness and formal experiments — but track for track, it's stronger, an object lesson in Nashville songwriting.

Slant Magazine
Her music is as rooted in organic country and western traditions as ever, flush with cosmopolitan strings, instrumental banjo breaks, and generous portions of pedal steel, but the songwriting comes less organically, too often stretching itself thin over a genre that's historically benefited from a measure of simplicity.
The Guardian
The melodies still stick, but it feels as if Musgraves has filed down her spikes in order to consolidate her position as country music’s princess.
No Ripcord

The songs have a slightly ready-to-wear feel to them. Musgraves plays up her lyrical prowess to the detriment of the instrumentation, which is crisp but generic and unremarkable.

Consequence of Sound
For now, saying the same thing over and over, even in fancy phrasing, is just another broken record.
Unlike pop, modern country does need a bit of saving, and people like Ms. Musgraves are doing a fantastic job at it thus far. Her second record jumps a football field and a half beyond her first, and delivers some delightfully bubbly country music with down-home inclinations and a nostalgic seasoning.
this cover art is so beautiful
A very well produced country album with meaningful lyrics. I'm not the biggest fan of country nowadays, but I feel that Musgraves is breathing life into mainstream country. This album has a certain southern charm to it that I love.
Kacey still continues to surprise me with every song she makes. This second album may not be as witty or as direct as her debut, but that doesn't really matter. Her unique writing skills sparkle on "Pageant Material", making her one of the finest singer-songwriters in country music today.
Best songs: "Dime Store Cowgirl", "This Town", "Somebody To Love", "Biscuits".
This is probably the best country album released the last few years. Here, Kacey's songwriting is the best the country genre has to offer and there's an overarching theme throughout the album (something that most country albums nowadays are HORRIBLE at maintaining): the outside world is hard to control, so focus on improving yourself. It's a great message from the girl currently filling the Taylor Swift songwriting void in country music.
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Track List

  1. High Time
  2. Dime Store Cowgirl
  3. Late to the Party
  4. Pageant Material
  5. This Town
  6. Biscuits
  7. Somebody to Love
  8. Miserable
  9. Die Fun
  10. Family Is Family
  11. Good Ol' Boys Club
  12. Cup of Tea
  13. Fine
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Added on: May 13, 2015