Female country stars are such a rarity these days that some people may be inclined to compare Kacey Musgraves, one of the most dynamic new voices to come along in years, to her few contemporaries, like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. The truth is, the 24-year-old doesn't need their reflected shine; she's already penned songs for ABC's Nashville and co-written Lambert's current single, ''Mama's Broken Heart'' and she garnered her own top 10 hit with ''Merry Go 'Round,'' a gothic lament-slash-ode to small-town America.
On her confident, melodic major-label debut, Musgraves' vocals are pleasingly agile, but what Same Trailer Different Park continually showcases is her writing prowess. ''Keep climbing that mountain of dirty tricks/And when you finally get to the top/Step off,'' she advises a vindictive stone-thrower on the playfully plucky ''Step Off.'' And on the wry ''Follow Your Arrow,'' a twangy YOLO anthem already ruffling feathers in the tradition-minded country community, she sings slyly, ''Make lots of noise/Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls if that's something you're into.'' Musgraves has a way of injecting humor into even her most melancholic musings. But make no mistake, this girl is no joke. A-