Star-crossed by Kacey Musgraves is a diary written of failed love

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The Guardian

Kacey Musgraves on the cover shoot for her new album: star-crossed.

When I read that Kacey Musgraves’ new album was deemed ineligible for Best Country Album at the 2022 Grammys, I had to listen for myself. 

In all honesty, I’ve never been a huge Kacey Musgraves fan—perhaps it’s because of my lack of love for country music—but from scrolling through the titles of all fifteen songs in star-crossed, it’s no question that this release is one encompassing marriage and divorce.

Star-crossed is a plethora of tracks throwing love, pain, and frustration at you all at once. One second I’m feeling nostalgic, and the next I’m feeling enraged with built-up love that never could be distributed. 

The first listen of the album was, coincidentally enough, “star-crossed.” Immediately after pressing play, my ears were blessed with Musgraves’ angelic voice, introducing the first track.

Despite star-crossed being focused on the complications of marriage and divorce, something I can’t relate to as a senior in high school, I found joy in listening.”

At first, she begins with very vague and abstract lyrics; however, Musgraves then changes dynamically into reciting lines as shallow as “I signed the papers yesterday, you came and took your things away.” Most evidently, “star-crossed” is explaining her divorce and narrates how her lover is walking away from what was once a relationship.

As a lover of The Hunger Games, I perceive “star-crossed” as a song elaborating on how Musgraves sees her and her former significant other as what Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark were: star-crossed lovers—meaning, a couple falls into love unexpectedly and unwillingly, making for conflicts and brawls trying to rip them apart. In a sense, they know they aren’t compatible, but they’re still fighting for one another. Yet, for Musgraves and her divorcee, their stars intersected, forbidding their love to prevail. 

On a more upbeat note, Musgraves’ song placed directly after “star-crossed” is called “there is a light.” Although the title may be rather explanatory, this track is highlighting how “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” I think this was an imperative addition; it is emphasizing that although Musgraves’ heart has been torn in two, she still holds self-worth and believes she has a light inside of her. 

All of these songs sound inevitably the same. Truly, one doesn’t jump out at me, begging to be on my playlist. However, if I had to choose one to favor, “breadwinner” would be the victor. 

“Breadwinner” is essentially Musgraves exclaiming to someone to stay away from someone she’s had prior experience with. She says “I’m telling you it’s gonna hurt, stay away from a boy like that,” then continues on into the chorus, belting “he wants a breadwinner, he wants your dinner until he ain’t hungry anymore.” In other words, Musgraves is warning this mystery girl that all this boy wants to do is use her until she’s no good anymore—not a trait that a boyfriend should have. A breadwinner is defined as someone who earns money to support their family, and in this situation, Musgraves’ ex has a reputation of using girls for their money and success. Musgraves was doing the charity work of exposing him through lyrics to the whole world—as she should.   

Despite star-crossed being focused on the complications of marriage and divorce, something I can’t relate to as a senior in high school, I found joy in listening. It was interesting to hear Musgraves’ perspective and how she portrayed the ins and outs of relationships through hitting high notes.

I’m content after my trial with star-crossed, and who knows—maybe I’ll become a Kacey Musgraves devotee after all.