Mitski Flexes Her Musical Genius On “Be The Cowboy”


Official album cover for “Be The Cowboy” by Mitski

Sam Hardie , Contributor

While it may not be a new album, it is a great one. “Be The Cowboy” is truly a musical masterpiece jam packed with indie synths, guitar, 80’s drum beats, and more. While most songs stay at a mellow experimental pace, some tracks can only be described as pure bangers. “Why Didn’t You Stop Me?” for example is one that builds up slowly with chiming synths, heavy bassline, and beating drums. The track is then heavily contrasted by “Old Friend” coming right after, where Mitski describes an old lover moving on while she refuses to. The lyrics describe the situation in such a way it almost sounds like a stalkerish lullaby.

“Be The Cowboy” is a fourteen track album that only reaches the length of thirty-two minutes. Each song being only one to two minutes long. The longest being four minutes which is the last track titled “Two Slow Dancers” which is a mellow and bittersweet sounding ending to this beautiful album. While each song is so short, Mitski packs an eternity of emotion and passion into every second. Most of the album being somewhat reminiscent of Phoebe Bridgers discography, who is an artist that could only describe as the woman with the saddest songs on planet earth. While Mitski has a cheerier sound than Bridgers, their messages remain the same. 

The track that truly catapulted this album to its success is “Nobody”, the song that is a musical form of spiraling. When asked about her inspiration for this song she said that she wrote it while being alone in Malaysia after a tour during the holidays. She said the feeling of seeing her friends and family enjoying the holidays without her while she was entirely alone in a foreign country caused her to spiral, causing the masterpiece of “Nobody”. While the chorus is entirely made up of her singing the word nobody twenty six times, it still is ranked as her most popular song. As of writing this it is the most streamed out of hers on Spotify with over twenty two million plays. The poppiness and upbeat sound of it contrasted with the spiraling lyrics makes for an absolutely amazing song. It truly sticks in your head and never leaves. 

Now while there are so many songs on here that are amazing, of course there are some misses. “A Horse Named Cold Air” for example, is a track so forgettable you have to constantly replay it to remember any part of it. Looking through the track list however, there really aren’t any other bad tracks. “A Horse Named Cold Air” isn’t that terrible either, just very forgettable and unnecessary. 

That being said, the rest of this album is a true poetic masterpiece. Mitski really hits it out of the park with this record. Track after track giving something new yet familiar, something sad yet happy. Mitski captures so many emotions with such simple songs it’s no wonder this album blew up when it did. My only true regrets with this album is how long it took me to listen to it. 

Overall Rating: 8.5/10