When I've heard Laurel Hell, which was my first album from her, I was very intrigued by Mitski, But the project felt unfulfilling and I felt like she can do way more than what the album delivered. And to be honest, Be the Cowboy might be one of the most disappointing albums I've heard in a while, Not because it's not good, But because it could've been so much better.
There are actually plenty of positive points on this project. One of them is Mitski herself. She is a pretty damn great artist, And I think she is incredibly talented. However, I do have to say that despite the fact that Mitski is great, I have yet to hear a truly great project from her unfortunately, Even though I do think she has all the potential in the world.
Mitski is fantastic on this album. Her performances are outstandingly stellar, She is so engaging, Charismatic and captivating. She really does have a really bold and strong voice, Her singing is gorgeously touching and immersive and I admire the fragility in her beautiful vocals. Her writing is amazing, Its quite easy to follow along with and its easily relatable as well, While having a level of cleverness to it. Throughout the project she talks about certain subjects revolving around her love life, Past relationships and toxic lovers. The way she is delivering these subjects is quite moving, Emotional and effective.
In terms of the production the album is immaculate, The instrumentals are grand, Lush and rich. Blending elements of art pop, indie rock and dream pop. The mix genuinely sounds almost flawless, Everything is so accurately placed and executed, And the production fits Mitski's fragile but strong voice like a glove.
Despite all of these positives, There is a main flaw that keeps this album from reaching its full potential. Can someone please explain why pretty much every song here is so damn short?! I mean seriously, There are so many tracks that sound like demos, Great demos... But still demos. There are some fantastic ideas presented in so many songs, But I felt like all of these ideas could've been way more stretched and flashed out. There are many amazing tracks that left me very underwhelmed by their short length and that was extremely annoying. For example the track "Washing Machine Heart" is such a fantastic song, but it ends after 2 short minutes...But why? I want more!
This is a serious issue in this album, Because it means that there are a very respectable amount of tracks are not as impactful and powerful as they could've been, Due to their short length, the songs aren't long enough to leave a clear impression on the listener. Which is causing the whole album to be relatively underwhelming, And it holds it back from reaching its full potential. I did enjoy this project overall, Therefore the positive score, But I just cant deny the feeling that it could've been executed so much better.
Be the Cowboy is a very decent album from Mitski, But again... It could've been a near-masterpiece in my opinion. I hope that Mitski will deliver a more compelling album from front to back in the future.
Favorite: A Pearl, Nobody, Washing Machine Heart, Two Slow Dancers, Why Didn't You Stop Me?
Least favorite: Blue Light