Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park [Mercury, 2013]
Far be it from me to tear down the finest lyricist to rise up out of conscious country since Miranda Lambert, if not Bobby Pinson himself. But "Merry Go 'Round"--which I liked, year-ended, whole thing--was epochal only by the standards of country radio, which is to say of pusillanimity itself. Already I've gotten to where I can't take the homilies of the lead "Silver Lining," where I see that her label bio proudly quotes the same quatrain that made me go yuck--"If you wanna find the honey/You can't be scared of the bees [OK so far]/If you want to see the forest/You're gonna have to look past the trees [oy]." "Dandelion"? "I Miss You"? Does "pat" mean anything to you? "Precious"? "Pert"? I like the trailer song and love the smoking in Vegas song and am impressed by how strong she closes, four quite distinct tracks climaxing with one in which her homilies risk a tolerance her target market could find intolerable that's topped by "It Is What It Is," in which she screws a guy because no better option is currently presenting itself. But someone up there is telling her she'd better play it safe, and it could be her. A-