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Kacey Musgraves' 'Deeper Well' Review: A Wellness Lifestyle Album That's Not Goop-core

Feel free to wince a little when you hear that Kacey Musgraves is now singing about the holistic benefits of moon bathing and jade bracelets, but know that unlike other recent pop albums that dabble in woo-woo feel-good – “Solar Power” by Lorde, “Solar Power” by FKA twigs. “Caprisongs» – the singer's new record, “Deeper Well”, totally gets away with it. For what? Because Musgraves is a country star who ultimately believes more in Willie Nelson than in astrology, tarot or Goop. She knows that the greatest country songs ever written are about providing clear answers to life's toughest questions. Fortunately for those of us who view wellness lifestyles as spiritual fiction for people with money, these are still the kinds of songs Musgraves wants to write.

The job requires honesty, and throughout “Deeper Well,” it requires Musgraves to adhere to everything she has learned from her astrologer and therapist (who, we must hope, are not not the same person). “My Saturn has returned,” she announces at the beginning of the album. title track, explaining how, eight years after turning 27, she slowly disentangled herself from everyone in her orbit who breathes “dark energy.” The star-studded, self-conscious language isn't too distracting, however. It's a sweet, liquid breakup ballad about resilience and closure, and Musgraves sings it with a beautiful flatness that she's made her signature, as if transposing the physical landscape of her native Texas into a sound.

On “Dinner with friends“, she pledges her love for her home country with an asterisk, praising “the sky there, the horses and dogs, but none of their laws”, then moves on to something even greater with “The architect“, wondering how God designed the Honeycrisp in the palm of his hand. “Even something as small as an apple, it’s simple and somehow complex,” she sings. “Soft and divine, the perfect design. Can I speak to the architect? As an acoustic guitar and piano do their gentle waltz in the background, Musgraves gently polishes the last line of the song to send us all falling into the void: “East is there an architect?

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The production choices in “Deeper Well” also seem clever and thoughtful, even when they seem extremely literal. “Cardinal” – a beautiful, chiming, vaguely psychedelic song about an omen bird delivering “a message from the other side” – feels like it was produced to tinkle like the Byrds. On “Deeper Well,” the notes following the chorus are treated with reverb designed to evoke coins thrown into a watering hole. But more than anything, pay attention to the battery. They are propulsive and rich, like beanbags resting on cornhole boards (“Cardinal”), or like open hands hitting tables (“Cardinal”).To balance“), or like ping-pong balls bouncing in an empty cardboard box (the moon bath song, “Jade Green“). Sonically, the message of this album is about the need for momentum, evolution, and progress. What fundamentally redeems Musgraves about her feel-good phase is that she gets through it.

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