Mitski | Be the Cowboy
Family Average: 5/7
Who’s the cowboy? Are we? Are you? I would like to believe there is a little cowboy in all of us. So Gather around the campfire partner we will put a little coffee on for ya’ll. And show you the tunes from this lovely lady. We can listen to this fella until the cows come home, and share our thoughts on the matter.
Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:
This singer really knows what she’s doing. She has her range and cadence down pat, and her voice is smooth and melodic. However, I found it at times at odds with the music. They didn’t really seem to sync up, or like it was playing to a different genre. It’s more obvious in tracks where there’s more electronics or artificial elements. It’s less noticeable in the songs with more traditional accompaniment. In “A Pearl”, while the music and vocals are both enjoyable, they didn’t seem to match up together. Even in the beginning they don’t sound like they’re the same bpm or something, one’s slightly out of step. When it comes to instruments, it might be that less is more for the kind of style the singer is going with.
It’s still an enjoyable album regardless. There’s enough variation that it doesn’t stagnate, but it keeps that ethereal floaty mood throughout. I was just pulled out of it every so often by the mismatching.
Hey officially the first ever Mitski album I am ever hearing. Hang on I’ll be right back and tell you what I thought. Just hit play on the first song now. Waiting for some stuff to happen, but so far so good. Mhm okay, thank you for your patience. Some really frightening messages on this album. I am glad that this is the first one I got to hear from this lady. It proves as a very intimate introduction to who she actually is as a person right now IN THIS MOMENT! As I understand she is experiencing a great deal of success in her career, playing lots of shows, and heaps of people have recommended I listen to her which just goes to show she’s got a strong following. That all said there is an underlying layer of insecurity in her lyrics I see similar themes in the Courtney Barnett album we reviewed earlier this year. This kind of theme really helps me kinda connect with an artist, and from there take a special interest in the messages in the songs. Wow that was a lot of rambling I am going to try and pull back this stream of conscious, and end cap by saying I also do like how she arranges the music on this album, everything comes off as polished to a shine. Two Slow Dancers is also in my opinion the ideal way for someone to end their album. Something haunting that sticks with you even days after the first listen.
I’ve always been drawn to Mitski for her lyrics and weird distortion. However, this album skews way more pop than her usual indie-rock style. She’s nixed a lot of that lovely guitar (**tears**) and cracked out the synthesizers and drum kits to create shiny dance tracks. Luckily, she kept the intimacy and honesty of her earlier work. The songs are short, but so layered and obscured you are left reeling. They’re soft of whimsical in their brevity -- little vignettes charting the rollercoaster of relationships and self-realization. She draws you in with soft melancholy tones then builds into a mess of distortion, confusion, and chaos. Nothing about this album feels clear cut, but it is kinda beautiful in a I-don’t-really-know-what’s-going-on kinda way. With a sort of dark humor, she draws upon that mythic, romantic trope of a heroic cowboy, but turns the tables, encouraging and imploring both herself and us to “Be the Cowboy” -- be your own hero, fall in love with and save yourself, dang it. Good advice, Mitski.
The first thing I noticed was the female lead vocalist. He voice is beautiful, rich and dramatic. I again thought this album sounded kind of Techno/80's and I wondered to myself, "Is this a trend?". This band is definitely not stuck in the 80's though. They have a modern take on the genre. The track"A Horse named Cold Air" struck me as a performance art piece. It combined Art and Poetry into song in a rather dreamy way. "Washing Machine Heart" was a bit more pop and may have more mass appeal then some of the other tracks. I can always tell when I like an album because I put some of their songs in a yoga playlist, that way I get to hear it again.
Mitski, Mitski, Mitski what am I going to say about you? I really like her voice it sounds full with a lot of texture. You can definitely feel her presence. The first five tracks had a techno quality to them, unfortunately, techno does not compliment her vocal qualities. By this I mean another genre may have showcased her beautiful voice. in the middle "washing machine" was a nice surprise, we lost the techno drums and branch off into rock and roll, Buoooya.The last two tracks were absolutely beautiful she had a Judy Collins quality they were very melodic and i gave them a second listen. I liked three tracks quite a bit. Her voice is amazing but the music was lacking this drags the rating down to a