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Kacey Musgrave's 'Deeper Well' is a tranquil, spring-like album

Kacey Musgraves is back with her fifth studio album, "Deeper Well." Musgraves' music has been gaining more traction since the release of her hit duet, "I Remember Everything," with Zach Bryan. She also collaborated with Noah Kahan for "She Calls Me Back." 

Her last two albums, "Star-crossed" and "Golden Hour," tapped into her country-pop side while highlighting raw life experiences like divorce and falling in love. Musgraves continues to dive into these and similar moments of resilience and healing in this new project, which has a newfound country-folk feel. 

"Deeper Well," discusses subjects like death, the afterlife, breakups and romance in her adulthood with slower folk melodies where Musgraves' delicate voice shines through.

The opening track, "Cardinal,"explores seeing signs of lost loved ones on the other side. Frequent with Musgraves's style is an angelic tone in her singing and honest songwriting that other country artists can't beat. The song is beautifully produced and dedicated to Musgrave's late friend John Prine, who often said cardinals were a connection to another realm. "Cardinal" is a perfect opening track as it is one of the most upbeat on the album and begins to explore topics of grief and growth that continue throughout "Deeper Well."

"Deeper Well" is a roadmap to finding yourself and cutting out "dark energy." The singer also discusses elements of years past, including old smoking habits and childhood play areas, which give this song a nostalgic, scrapbook-like feel. "Deeper Well" is one of the more methodic pieces in the album. It truly encompasses the overall message of finding yourself in adulthood, even if it means letting people or things go along the way. 

This album sets itself apart by closely examining life's mundane moments and the beauty beneath the surface. Most of the songs shine a light on relationships and the changing aspects of adulthood along the way. "Too Good to be True" is an ode to a cloudy Monday morning spent with a lover as Musgraves dives into past traumas with love. 

She sings of the fear that love is too good to be true and the unwillingness to give herself again. "Moving Out" is another tranquil track that pays homage to memories of the singer's childhood home, which she is moving out of. Musgraves' songwriting is unparalleled and radiates through these two tracks as she creates a safe place for listeners to find solace in shared experiences of leaving childhood homes and memories behind. 

"Giver/Taker" follows tracks four and five with another slower melody. It is a beautiful, steady song that paints a serene picture of deep love. While it is another slow song, the songwriting stamps its spot on this album. "Giver/Taker" is followed by a faster-paced track, "Sway." 

"Sway" tells of sticking to life's path-finding moments to let anxiety go and relaxing along the journey. Musgraves celestial voice molds with the acoustics to create a sense of tenderness. Different in its production value and beautifully written, "Sway" is a standout track.

"Dinner with Friends" strums the tune of a past love, presumably written about ex-boyfriend Cole Schafer, as she details the quirks of a partner she notices and misses. The song opens by discussing a dinner with friends in a place where no one lives anymore, continuing to build this album around nostalgic and raw feelings of a changing life. 

"Heart of the Woods"encapsulates the presence of nature, as Musgraves connects the need to look out for one another to look out for nature itself. The album has a simplistic feel, with gentle harmonies and softer beats. While most songs are similar in pace to these two tracks, they all tie into Musgraves' central theme of slowing down and looking inward.

Changing pace, "Jade Green" is an upbeat song about the singer's holistic side, with lyrics discussing moon bathing and spirituality. It is a perfect time to change up after a similar pace through the last couple of tracks. The catchy chorus is sure to get stuck in your head, and overall, it has a bit more of a country twang feel.

"The Architect" is a masterpiece of a country lullaby with a profound message. The song details watching the world’s wonders and looking to "the architect," creator of all things, to understand what it means. The track is incredibly well-written and could stand alone as a single from this album. 

"Lonely Millionaire" is one of the most produced songs on the album, with a lo-fi feel as the singer discusses that money can't buy happiness. Musgraves' voice hypnotizes listeners in this track and samples JID's song "Kody Blue 31."

The final three tracks round out the central theme by examining what Heaven on Earth is. "Heaven Is" is a short, less than three-minute track with a soft guitar picking and a similar lullaby feel and message to "The Architect." It discusses the moments in life that make Earth as wondrous as Heaven.

“Anime Eyes" is the most adventurous piece on the album. The same soft strumming accompanies this track as the singer describes being in love as if she can see the world with anime eyes. "Anime Eyes" is the most similar to Musgraves' last album.

However, the bridge sets this track apart from the rest of the album and her work, as Musgraves yells the lyrics with a euphoric whirlwind of sound around her, changing pace and making "Anime Eyes" one of the most surprising tracks on the album. 

The final track, "Nothing to be Scared…" is the ribbon that ties the album together. The lyrics detail a message of pushing aside fear and letting life come as it goes. Musgraves masterfully wraps the audience in this final track and sends them on their way after listening with a newfound sense of calm and self-reflection. 

The pop-country sound on Musgraves' fifth album is undoubtedly a change of pace. Kacey Musgraves uses the project to reflect on her 35 years of life and all she has learned about herself and love. The message is a comforting nudge of advice for listeners. 

The album is also an impressively cohesive project and explores another side of Musgraves' folk-country sound. "Deeper Well" may have fewer standout tracks than previous albums, but the ethereal beauty behind Musgraves' songwriting and harmonizing vocals are enough to deem this album an overall hit. 


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