Mitski
Puberty 2


4.5
superb

Review

by owl beanie STAFF
May 27th, 2017 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: i better ace this review / i should tell them that i'm not afraid to die / i better ace this review

Confession: when I first listened to this album, I spent more time than I care to admit looking for its prequel; for an album title affixed with the number 2 must have its roots planted firmly in another body of music. The slow-rising existentialism of Puberty 2 proves otherwise, though – it’s title refers to the doubt and inner turmoil that arises from feeling like you’re suffering through another period of fumbling adolescence.

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. Take Thursday Girl as an example – the song finds Mitski slowly pirouetting as the setting cracks and splutters behind her. Here, the track details the most awkward and broken of relationships, beautifully ambiguous in the respect that it is never clear whether the relationship is with herself or with another. Elsewhere, the personification of Happy as an abusive one-night-stand is as contrarian as it is delineating. “When you go, take this heart” – defeatist as it may seem – perfectly distils the grim irony of draining yourself in the quest for contentment. Sacrificing happiness in the search for happiness shouldn’t make any sense, but it does.

Of the music: Puberty 2 feels like Mitski’s valiant attempt to project and to share her burdens. The record is replete with gritty, linear chord progressions that bask in the sun; like on Fireworks, where the guitar forms the skeleton for the floor-shaking bass and Mitski’s velvety crooning. In My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars, the guitar conceives its own obstinate wall of white noise. Consequently, it becomes immediately and abundantly clear that this track is all of Mitski’s anxieties coming together for a rabid, utterly impassioned assault on her life; the breaking point captured on tape. In the most fitting of counterpoints, though, A Burning Hill is both the depression and the submission. There’s a thick blanket of gloom in the form of tired synths and acoustic guitar that fits perfectly along the equally-as-exhausted lyric: “I think I’m finally worn”.

I may be hearing things, but I’m fairly certain the faint blip of a click track carries this song to its end. If that’s the case, I find it heartbreakingly emblematic of the struggle to keep everything together, which is an appropriate and affecting microcosm of this record as a whole.

Musicians are the best at turning themselves inside out and the worst at giving their shattered selves a reprieve. They stay with their losses - such is the nature of the art - and stick them into some kind of paper mache formation for the sake of everyone that chooses to pay attention. Through this record, Mitski wants desperately to say goodbye to the neurosis that should’ve disappeared with puberty, and I sincerely hope that the rubble and the racket that this album makes can scare it off. It's about time we root for the losing dog.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
luci
May 27th 2017


11978 Comments


someone promote this guy already

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2017


2424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hey thanks lucid appreciate ya

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2017


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been listening to this so much lately, nice review.

Digging: Keaton Henson - Six Lethargies

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2017


2424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

same here, hence clumsily written chunk of text.

thankyathankya

clavier
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2017


1067 Comments


someone promote this guy already [2]

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2017


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No doubt that if he keeps up the reviews at a moderate pace, he'll get a promotion if it's what he wants. It seems Sputnik's been blessed with some writers who are good for competition. LandDiving, sincerelyaural, butcherboy, and I'm sure a few others.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2017


2424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thank uuu lovely humans

clavier
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2017


1067 Comments


Oh, and thank you BlushfulHippocrene for your kind words

zaruyache
January 15th 2018


21605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Your Best American Girl is so good.

Digging: Blue Noise - Everyone Goes Away Eventually

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2018


17531 Comments


The second time the chorus hits on "a loving feeling" so good

theBoneyKing
May 14th 2018


17719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

New song is pretty weak sauce, poor choice for a single, feels like an “album track”.

She’ll probably spend the rest of her career trying to recapture the greatness of “Your Best American Girl”.

Digging: Cocteau Twins - Treasure

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2018


17531 Comments


Man that song “nobody” is great

zaruyache
July 14th 2018


21605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

" recapture the greatness of “Your Best American Girl”."



i wish all her stuff was as buzzy and BIG as that one.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2018


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Nobody is insanely good. First single was neat, too.

luci
August 15th 2018


11978 Comments


kinda disappointed with the new one on first spin

the sketch-like songs make the whole thing slight and fleeting

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2018


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Were you a fan of the singles?

luci
August 16th 2018


11978 Comments


I didn't hear the singles prior to the album. Geyser was a great opener and Nobody was interesting enough (although exactly what I expected from people's descriptions, no surprise there).

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2018


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah damn. Well, I really hope I like it more than you. What do you mean by sketch-like?

luci
August 16th 2018


11978 Comments


2 minute vignettes that capture emotions in miniature before flipping to the next. It achieves what it sets out to do but I never feel satiated. I'll give each track more focus on the next spin to try to draw more out of it.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2018


3099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh wow, the singles are three of the longest songs... 14 tracks in 30 minutes is insane but I suppose she's never been one for lengthy tracks. Curious.



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