Mitski, 'Be The Cowboy' - Review
by Bianca Rhodes
Eclectic, explosive, restless – Mitski’s fifth studio recording is the accomplished work of an artist that is still experimenting and tapping her feet in different styles of indie pop and rock while beginning to form a conscious, recognisable sound. ‘Be The Cowboy’ is an intense rollercoaster of 14 tracks racing in just over half an hour – there is no room for moments of stillness or boredom. From the bursting opener ‘Geyser’, through the up-beat, exhilarating earworm ‘Nobody’, up until the melancholic closing ballad ‘Two Slow Dancers’, the album collects a series of perfectly cut and polished pearls, each an interesting and unique sketch of life. While such a level of polyphony might at other times generate chaos and incongruence, this record avoids this by keeping the tracks concise and focused. Amongst sweeping guitar and powerful piano chords, Mitski’s ethereal, crystalline voice remains the constant red thread bringing the whole album together. The lyrics, delivered with strength and elegance, explore the ever- troubled relationship of the self with the other and the world. There are no particular peaks of awe-inspiring poetry – the words remain simple and the images stark and clear – yet this does not take anything away from their relatability and power of communication. An interesting work from an artist that promises the unexpected.