Raw, epic and emotional in places, yet you can definitely rock out to it
Mitski introduces us to her compelling new album, Be The Cowboy
, with the opening track, 'Geyer' and what a glorious opening it is. The perfect precursor for what turns out to be a hugely passionately charged and gracious album. However, make no mistake this is still a rock album even if the lyrics and song titles suggest otherwise. Mitski has proven that love songs and songs about heartbreak can nestle quite comfortably on a bed of up-tempo instrumentals and still have the desired thought-provoking effect. The second track, 'Why Didn’t You Stop Me' demonstrates this premise with a healthy dose of synth and acoustics as does 'Old Friend' and 'A Pearl'. Mitski’s distinctive vocals compel you to really pay attention to the lyrics and even though some may seem too personal to totally understand, the devotion is unmistakable and the message behind them is clear.
This album isn’t cry-to music it’s more matter of fact than that, the tracks are short and all quite different with no real structure, which is what makes it so interesting. 'Remember My Name' will have you playing air guitar one minute and ripping up photos of your ex the next, while 'Nobody' has almost a suggestion of show tune about it and you’ll feel the urge to jump up in a power circle with your friends, kicking your legs up in unison. Although that doesn’t mean that it’s in any way cheesy.
'A Horse Names Cold Air' is quite unique and almost out of place, both the message and style, with just piano music and Mitski’s voice, it’s the most ominous of all the tracks but an interesting and brief detour. 'Washing Machine Heart' reinstates the albums bold temperament and then it all seems to change again short but sweetly with dream pop track 'Blue Light'.
What’s great about this album is the diversity from song to song, it gives its own air of liberation, not playing by the rules. Raw and epic and emotional in places, yet you can definitely rock out to it. You’re guaranteed the faultless voice of Mitski throughout but even her vocals seem to adapt like a chameleon in its different musical surroundings. Be The Cowboy
will have you captivated from start to finish, the short songs, the musical dynamics and the poignant lyrics. It’s much grittier than just background music, it’s much too intense for that, it will need your full attention. It finishes with the final track, 'Two Slow Dancers', a satisfying end after all the previous dramatics. An album you’ll listen too repeatedly and enjoy for a different reason each time.
Mitski will play a series of UK shows in September - see here for more information