The rise of Kacey Musgraves in the last couple of years has been fun to watch. Her debut album Same Trailer, Different Park was a smashing success and earned critical praise from music critics everywhere. Not to mention she has also earned a lot of hardware, from the ACMs to the Grammys. Her approach of progressive themes in her music has earned her praise from LGBT groups and helped elevate close friend Brandy Clark to the mainstream realm. All of this after her debut album. You don’t see too many artists accomplish so much at the beginning of their careers. So with all of this in mind, the anticipation for her sophomore album is high. We all get a taste of her second album in the recently released debut single from it, “Biscuits.” Now a lot of people have weighed in already on this song and I’m probably one of the last to throw my two cents in. Nevertheless let’s take a look at this new song. (Side note: The reason I waited is because I like to hear the studio versions of songs when reviewing them. The live version doesn’t always match up with the studio version.)
Right away you’ll realize that the sound of the song is similar to past Musgraves tunes. It’s upbeat, fun and decidedly country. By the way, how does Musgraves get left out with radio play? Country radio is obsessed with upbeat, fun songs right now and “Biscuits” fits the description. Yet it languishes near the bottom of the chart. Oh yeah, it’s too country. Alan Jackson’s “Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Uptempo Love Song” is looking more fortuitous with each passing day. Back to “Biscuits,” the instrumentation is great. To me it’s the perfect balance between country and being radio-friendly. While the instrumentation is good, the lyrics however are not so great. We’ve heard this song before from Kacey. The first version was “Follow Your Arrow.” Then it was the cruder “The Trailer Song” released last year as a standalone single. Now we have “Biscuits,” which is only different in the fact that is uses several food comparison. All three songs are about judgmental people who should mind their own business. Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark wrote all three songs too.
I find the chorus line/hook of this song to be quiet hokey: “Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.” It just feels so cliché and easy. It feels like something I could have come up with and I’m by no means a songwriter. I think the biggest thing I took away after hearing this song was as soon as it ended I said to myself, “This is it?” I just kept waiting for something more to happen and it just feels like the song is stuck in the starting gate the whole song. Even Musgraves sounds bored singing it. This song just doesn’t have any meat for a listener to sink their teeth into. The only thing this song really made me feel is hungry. It made me want to get biscuits and gravy, but not listen to this song.
“Biscuits” is not the single I wanted to hear from Musgraves. This also isn’t the single that will enthuse more people about her new upcoming album nor get radio play. This is a song that just hovers above average and never really goes anywhere. I wanted to hear something with more fire and gusto, as we haven’t seen a lot of this from Musgraves. In fact one of the biggest criticisms I hear from fans is she seems to lack charisma at times. This is one of those times. Is “Biscuits” better than a lot of songs on the radio currently? Yes, but that isn’t saying anything at all because country radio is going to hell in a handbasket right now. I hope Musgraves and her team choose better on her next single. “Biscuits” just leaves me feeling empty and wanting more.