AOTY 2021


Kacey Musgraves - star-crossed
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2021 Ratings: #369 / 682
User Score
Based on 828 ratings
2021 Ratings: #567
Liked by 45 people
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The Line of Best Fit

Using cinematic references to divide her latest record into three acts, Musgraves tells the story of this chapter of her life through the exposition, the climax, and the resolution. Often referencing unique personal tragedy while translating her tales through whimsical compositions and poetic lyrics.


star-crossed showcases her evolving versatility as an artist, propelled by the continued refinement of her refreshingly introspective writing. All in all, it’s a bold, brave statement that feels honest and true to this current chapter of Musgraves’ life narrative and musical identity.


She has calcified a range of difficult, overwhelming, sometimes liberating emotions into a time capsule marking the most turbulent time of her life.

A.V. Club

While she leaves her full Western get-up at the door, Musgraves continues to bring her Southern sensibilities with her, with a work that reaches to the soul of the country genre, if not the most obvious musical trappings.

Entertainment Weekly

Recorded in the wake of her divorce, the singer's new album feels like both the essence of country music (love hurts, life is hard) and an extremely 2021 refraction of it.


On Star-Crossed, Kacey Musgraves continues to make use of her signature wounded wit to expose the hypocrisy that often lies within heteronormative gender roles.


Far from spinning distant, third-person tales, each track feels incredibly personal.


While this may not always hit the same glorious heights of Golden Hour, it makes for a fine companion record ... It’s not quite her Blood On The Tracks, but it’s a record that’s similarly compelling to listen to.

Slant Magazine

Musgraves’s follow-up, Star-Crossed, is just as effortlessly melodic and accessible. But it’s also more eclectic, far afield of modern radio tropes, either of the pop or country varieties.


Musgraves’ storytelling skills and musical instincts are as strong as ever on star-crossed. While it’s not perfect, love rarely is, and breakups never are.


It’s an intricate project – the record also comes with an accompanying 50-minute film – that could collapse under the weight of its concept. Bolstered by its author’s frank pen, though, and instilled with a sense of hope, it’s a powerful listen.

FLOOD Magazine

The album is not a carbon copy of Golden Hour but is at the very least a matching bookend, once again sounding sparkling, airy, and pristine.

The Irish Times

Musgraves transforms raw elements of her personal life into stories that anyone can relate to.

Evening Standard

Easygoing guitar and her caramel voice are the main ingredients, but you’re never too far from a little surprise.

A breakup record that's both heartbreaking and hopeful.
Kacey Musgraves’ chronicle of marriage and divorce looks to the stars but takes pains to stay grounded. Writing in the plain language of someone desperate to be understood, she sounds alternately vulnerable and triumphant.

star-crossed is an acceptable follow-up to Golden Hour, considering that album is an unattainable milestone.

Rolling Stone

The best moments here put her own personalized spin on the well-worn cliches of the standard big-budget post-break-up purge-fest.

The Forty-Five

What ‘Star-Crossed’ does best is add a tinge of darkness to ‘Golden Hour’, an album that’s now irrevocably changed, awarded a second, shadier life. And in turn, some gold finds its way to Musgraves’ new, post-divorce world.


Listen closely, it's evident that Star-Crossed is a quintessential divorce record--the story is laid out quite clearly in its 15 songs--but in a practical sense, the album delivers sophisticated mood music, providing a soothing soundtrack for all manners of quiet domestic activities.


Musgraves has never been afraid to take risks, explore new sounds and continue to evolve as an artist. Her latest release isn't a cry for attention, but a call-in to sit with her grief ⏤ our collective grief ⏤ and mourn the loss of something real.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Although acoustic guitars provide the DNA for many of these songs, Musgraves borrows from modern pop and R&B with slinky rhythms and splashes of vocal gloss.

Turning her divorce into an extravagant concept album was a genius idea; it’s just a shame that at times she struggles to truly commit to the idea and fully bare her soul to the listener. When she does though, it’s devastatingly beautiful.
The Young Folks

The theatrical guise the album takes on not only interweaves classical elements alongside the broad and diverse production, but also mishmashes tons of atmosphere, intrigue, and vivid personality on the record—managing to provide a nuanced yet ultimately hopeful statement on resilience and redemption.

The Independent

This record doesn’t find the often-brilliant Musgraves on her sharpest, Dolly Parton-est form.

The Guardian

The bliss of Musgraves’ Grammy-winning Golden Hour sours on this follow-up, with a breakup narrative that is a little too tidy.

Under The Radar

Ultimately, star-crossed is the sound of an artist trying desperately to change lanes without the aid of mirrors or blind spot detection.

The Needle Drop

Star-Crossed is a mess all the way up to its mastering.

'star-crossed' is Kacey Musgraves' fourth album, coming after her critically-acclaimed album, 'Golden Hour', which managed to win GRAMMY's Country Album and Album of the Year awards, with this album essentially being the end of the golden hour, moving towards something darker. The album is all about her divorce with Ruston Kelly, telling us how her marriage unraveled and how she found motivation during those dark periods, being based on 'Romeo and Juliet' I believe. Kacey hasn't moved as far ... read more
'star-crossed' really feels like the opposite of her last album 'Golden Hour'. The atmosphere in this one is clearly coming from a place of emotional breakdown but also confidence, Kacey Musgraves brings to the table this time around, a maturity in production, lyricism, and her voice also matured as hell. It is much more pop than the last one, it has it's grooves, a little disco influence here and there, the strings are stronger also. Divorce is a difficult subject to transform into music, ... read more
Após 3 anos de lançamento do aclamado "Golden Hour". Kacey volta com um álbum o qual representa o oposto do anterior com uma proposta mais intimista. Porém diferente do disco de 2018, que era seu melhor projeto, este é um de seus mais fracos, ainda que seja bom.

Durante esses ultimos tempos, Kacey Musgraves passou por alguns problemas relacionado a seu casamento com Ruston Kelly. Levando a um divórcio. Mas a artista aproveita a ... read more

I wish I liked Kacey Musgraves the artist as much as I like Kacey Musgraves the person, but I still haven’t connected to one of her albums yet. Sorry I’m a terrible Gay™️ y’all 😭😭
Three years after dropping the Grammy award-winning “Golden Hour”, Kacey Musgraves is back with her fourth studio album “star-crossed”, a record that is quite literally the complete opposite of its predecessor, surrounded by a much more darker and intimate concept. While the former saw her dealing with newfound love and had a calm and breezy aura, the latter comes after a divorce, which is the main theme of the project. The shakespearean title is used to describe a love ... read more
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Added on: August 19, 2021