Kacey Musgraves (Feat. Leon Bridges), ‘Present Without a Bow’ [Listen]
Kacey Musgraves' A Very Kacey Christmas is just as strikingly original as the rest of her recorded work, and "Present Without a Bow" is a solid example of that.
There's not exactly a shortage of Christmas albums in country music, and it can be awfully difficult for any artist to differentiate their efforts from those of another artist, especially in a situation where many of the artists are covering the same songs over and over. Musgraves got around that stumbling block by writing "Present Without a Bow" with Leon Bridges, Austin Jenkins and Luke Laird.
Far from being just another run-of-the-mill holiday release, "Present Without a Bow" is just as clever, both musically and lyrically, as her songs always are. The bed track features a '50s doo-wop vibe and an accordion opening riff, with clean electric rhythms guitars striking straight accent chords all the way through the arrangement.
Musgraves gives an understated vocal performance, singing straight to the melody to accent the song instead of her voice, and she's joined by Bridges on the track, contributing a bluesy soul to the proceedings in an interesting contrast with Musgraves' straighter reading of the material.
The lyrics are surprisingly sentimental coming from Musgraves, who tends to specialize in darker cynicism, portraying a couple that just wants to slow down and enjoy each other during the holiday season: "There's no red and white stripes on the candy cane / 'Silent Night' just wouldn’t sound the same / Where’d the magic go / All I know, is me without you is like a present without a bow."
Did You Know? Willie Nelson appears on A Very Kacey Christmas on a track titled "A Willie Nice Christmas."
Listen to Kacey Musgraves, "Present Without a Bow"
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Kacey Musgraves' "Present Without a Bow" Lyrics:
"We’ve been, movin’ too fast / And we should slow down / Come and sit by the fire / Stop rushin’ around / ‘Cuz this time of year / It’s meant for two / So, don’t leave me lonely / If I don’t have you."
"The holiday is just another day that’s cold / Standing all alone under the mistletoe / I don’t feel the cheer / Ooh, without you here / There’s no red and white stripes on the candy cane / 'Silent Night' just wouldn’t sound the same / Where’d the magic go / All I know, is me without you is like a present without a bow."
Before we know it / The wreath will come down / The halls won’t be decked, there’ll be no snow on the ground / The New Year will come / And bring lots of change, baby / And if I’m not with you girl, sippin’ on champagne ..."