“Golden Hour” from country artist Kacey Musgraves is an album with good vibes and matter-of-fact statements. I enjoyed the song “Slow Burn” because it has a casual feel and calming message. Her tone is relaxed and reminds the listener that it’s okay to slow down in a busy world. It becomes a bit too repetitive for my taste, but it was still a quality track. “Lonely Weekend” feels like a pop track that would have fit in well with one of Taylor Swift’s original albums. Not bad, but not a standout or a top contender to become one of my favorites.

“Butterflies” is a breath-of-fresh-air love song. It was cheesy, but not cliché, which I appreciate. Her lyrics are self-revealing and talk about an unexpected romance that appears “out of the blue.” It compares a failed relationship to her new fling by saying, “Now you’re lifting me up, instead of holding me down, stealing my heart instead of stealing my crown.” This is an important message for young women to hear —wait for one who doesn’t compete or complicate your values.

“Oh, What A World” follows the theme of finding a love that is almost too good to be true. Her words paint a picture of magic and a world that she doesn’t ever want to leave. “Love is a Wild Thing” is catchy and perfect for summer. It was a fairly general description of love that didn’t seem to be a specific tribute to any of Musgraves’s past relationships. By the time I reached track six, I was ready to hear more personal lyrics. Thankfully, “Space Cowboy” played next and diverged from all of the feel-good songs that started off the album. Musgraves talks about saying goodbye and giving space to someone after realizing they aren’t right for each other by saying “sunset’s fade and love does too.”

My least favorite song was called “Happy & Sad.” The context didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and I was left feeling underwhelmed. “Velvet Elvis” has a different tone than the rest of the album. It has more of a country feel and is a little generic in comparison to some of her other songs. One of my top picks, and the first song I listened to on the album, is “High Horse.” It has the sassy message and witty quips that I expected from Musgraves.

“Mother” is a short but emotional tribute to moms that love from afar. It was a special track for me because whenever I have a bad day at school, the first person that I want to call is my mom. Musgraves talks about a mother who isn’t “freaked out” by tears and is completely empathetic.  Musgraves only wishes that her mother wasn’t so far away. This is an understandable feeling for anyone who is close to their mom and misses her while they are apart.

Overall, the relaxed ambiance that occurs in “Golden Hour” is very refreshing and shows that Musgraves is going in a different and refreshing direction with her music. I give this album 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone looking for some new country-pop music.

Janelle Wilcox is a senior graphic design major. This review reflects the opinion of the author only.