AOTY 2023
Mitski - Puberty 2
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2016 Ratings: #20 / 1002
Year End Rank: #14
User Score
2016 Ratings: #37
Liked by 404 people
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A visceral work that shares the immediacy of classic punk and confessional singer/songwriter fare at once, Puberty 2 takes listeners behind closed doors with the kind of no-holds-barred lyrics that are likely to leave a lasting impression.
A.V. Club

Puberty 2 exposes new dimensions to Mitski’s voice, revealing its true richness and range. Mitski is an exceptionally keen observer of the human condition, and Puberty 2 marks a triumphant new step in her evolution.

Consequence of Sound
While this might sound like dangerous territory for an artist who’s known for searing riffs and vicious live performances that include screaming into the pickups of her guitar, Mitski uses her voice to measure the slightest nuances within complex emotions.
Loud and Quiet

‘Puberty 2’ features all of those teenage troughs, and the confusing, thrilling peaks too – the starry eyes, manic ambition and constant distraction of sex.


Puberty 2 captures the sense of frustration, resignation and self-awareness that can only come from years of grappling with emotional demons: now, she holds her vulnerability with confidence, in anthemic and improbably striking songs, for all to see.


Mitski has long been an integral part of the indie rock world, but with Puberty 2, Miyawaki has proven that she is more vital and more necessary than ever. No other artist is writing music this open and accessible; as a result, Puberty 2 is one of the best records of the year so far.


It’s a high-watermark of post-irony indie, a cracked safe of perspectives previously unheard in lump-throated punk. It plays like a sketchbook, but you’ll grow to hum every Sharpie stroke.


For all its buzzing, sneering self-flagellation, Puberty 2 barrels head-first into contemporary rock’s inner circle. It’s an album both earthy and graceful, performing its own ballet routine in the dirt and the mud.

The 405
It's sometimes easy to forget that Mitski didn't technically enter the greater music consciousness until last year, and what makes that worth pointing out is that despite her hitting her stride and turning out the most accomplished album of her career yet, she sounds like she's only getting started.
On her fourth album, Mitski makes a resounding personal statement and stakes out her territory as one of the most compelling voices in the sphere of indie rock.
Under the Radar

What Puberty 2 so expertly unearths is the fact that the uncertainty of puberty basically just means you're alive. That exploration alone would make Puberty 2 an interesting album, but Mitski Miyawaki's songwriting prowess makes it into something special. 

Pretty Much Amazing
As confessional as singer/songwriters; as confrontational as punk. People have brought up St. Vincent in comparison because both are women and both wield guitars (sometimes noisily), but Annie Clark has never been this naked and poseless.
The Skinny

Featuring crunchy guitars, squeals of feedback and masterful melodicism, comparisons to Pinkerton are inevitable, but there's more nuance and maturity at work here.

NOW Magazine
In the two years between records, the "half-Japanese, half-American but not fully either" songwriter has added heft to her sound and complexity to her lyrics.
There are reminders of St. Vincent on "Happy" and "Thursday Girl," while "A Loving Feeling" boasts The Breeders' punkish brevity.
God Is in the TV

It’s essentially misery-laden electric-guitar indie rock, in the style of Cat Power and Waxahatchee – but her nihilist worldview is oddly endearing.

FLOOD Magazine

While Puberty 2 might lack the round variance of an album, it thrives as a singles club, populated by songs that find exquisiteness within themselves—saddened bangers, if you will.

The Guardian
Bright Eyes-esque confessional folk, riot grrrl and the quiet-loud dynamics of the Pixies are all present, but Mitski updates these reference points with a modernist twist.
Record Collector

Now signed to Dead Oceans for her fourth album Puberty 2, the 25-year-old is as experimental and fearless as ever, whilst also developing a sort of mainstream, more commercial sound.

Q Magazine
Her lyrics are folk-like in that they seem ancient yet new, delivered by a voice that's both angelic and sharp as a whip-crack.

The songs sway with gravitas and hit home whether you’re wrestling with innate and confounding dependence (‘Crack Baby’) or trying to pilot your own mental health (‘Happy’), Mitski feels dedicated to those who, for once, just want to set their own pace.

The Line of Best Fit

Equal amounts tender and wild, Mitski places power in vulnerability. Validating every topsy turvy emotion, Puberty 2 is a soundtrack of self-awareness and self-acceptance at its most real.


‘Puberty 2’ leaves no stone unturned in its attempt to make grim tales seem even worse than you could possibly imagine. It’s a brutally tough shock to the system, one that will leave its trace for years to come.

No Ripcord

Mitski’s boldness is hugely impressive, and couple that with the fact the record is so expertly mixed and edited, she has produced one of the year’s more complete LPs.

The progression is so drastic, it at once insists that this is an artist not done growing, and a surefire source of future classics. This album may very well turn out to be one, after we’ve all spent some well-deserved months of listening.
Tiny Mix Tapes

It continues her infatuation with love, loneliness, betrayal, hunger, and the afflictions from both sadness and happiness.

Drowned in Sound

Growing ever more creative, with music ever more intriguing and beautiful, Puberty 2 represents the latest natural step in a career going from strength to strength.

Northern Transmissions

Despite the all-pervasive blue mood Mitski spreads throughout her songs, there’s plenty of spirited, anthemic moments to latch onto with Puberty 2.

Spectrum Culture
Mitski’s eclectic nature and unorthodox style may be a turn-off for some, but it grows more relatable and endearing as it runs, and eventually you may even find yourself looking at happiness from her point of view, a testament to a truly gifted musician.
Rolling Stone

As bawdy and unpredictable as anyone is in their first puberty, Puberty 2 shows Miyawaki indulging her whims with a devil-may-care attitude – the result is an incendiary self-portrait.


is this album abt going on hrt


Surprised this is the mitski album I DIDNT love as much as the others, but with its heartbreaking lyrics Puberty 2 by mitski still gives an interesting listen!

Space Vacation

I really loved and needed this.
Warmed my heart and soothed my brain.


It is just so pretty. It also uses some noisier sounds. It is definitely a change from BMAMC, but it has some of the same distortion use. It is more Dream Pop and more Artsy at times. It prominently showcases the more mellow sound that would later be embraced on albums like Be the Cowboy and The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. Well done LP! The production is top notch and it is some of the best from Mitski.


Puberty 2 is about literal puberty and everything that comes with it. The changes from soft dream pop to raw rock are like moodswings when you're going through puberty. Great collection of songs!

Favs: You Best American Girl, I Bet On Losing Dogs, A Burning Hill, Fireworks, Happy


i project onto this album so hard

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Added on: March 5, 2016