There's a certain level of confidence needed to be as honest as Mistki is. The woman has balls of steel. Even in the face of pain, Mitski rises to the occasion and finds something to be happy about. Mitski is broken but happy in Be The Cowboy, her new album that largely stays optimistic even in hard situations.
There's a round upbeatness to Be The Cowboy that really encompasses the whole album. It's almost as if Mitski is doing her best to try to battle the pain with optimism. 'Why Didn't You Stop Me?' rolls loudly and proudly, even while Mitski somberly asks: "Why didn't you chase after me?" The distorted guitars and floaty synths help keep the mood up, but the lyrics can't help but tell a sad story. This theme is common throughout the record, and there are times where even the happiness can't mask the real emotion in there. 'Nobody' is one of the saddest happy songs ever, paradoxically.
Despite a common theme being used throughout the record, Be The Cowboy is largely dynamic. There's a lot of different ways Mitski attempts to circumvent the pain and show off confidence instead. Opening track 'Geysey' is almost cinematic in how it builds and explodes, its haunting and dark climax bringing the record to a simple awesome start. 'Pink In The Night' follows that with a similarly theatrical build. 'A Pearl' is a very poetic song, the lyrics interesting and captivating, making the track come off almost as if it were a folk song. Closing track 'Two Slow Dancers' doesn't try to pretend, ending the record on a sad note, the instrumental finally following the way the lyrics present themselves.
Mitski is broken but happy in Be The Cowboy, a happy yet sad record. The title seems to be a testament to what Mitski attempts to do in this album. She's attempting to keep her head up and bare confidence in this record rather than let pain get the best of her, but even then she can't help but let some of it seep through.
Favorite Tracks: Geyser, Pink In The Night
Least Favorite Track: Old Friend
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Be The Cowboy on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: