Published Jun 17, 2016Mitski's fourth album is an intense, emotional, exhausting record that proves Mitski Miyawaki is one of the most interesting and innovative songwriters in the current indie rock world. Puberty 2 showcases her talents across 11 songs of pure songwriting mastery.
"Happy" is a glitchy, dark opener that finds Miyawaki lamenting how swiftly happiness can come and go. She's always been able to pen a devastating line, and "Happy" is no different: "When you go," she croons, "take this heart / I'll make no more use of it when there's no more you'
That Puberty 2 can so freely and comfortably move from slower, melancholic songs such as "Once More to See You" to discordant, chaotic punk songs like "My Body's Made of Crushed Little Stars" is just one of the ways this record sets itself aside from the crowd. Miyawaki is able to connect in a very real way with the listener; during "My Body's Made of Crushed Little Stars," she references the difficulty of wanting to follow one's dreams whilst also needing to stay grounded and realistic: "I wanna see the whole world, I don't know how I'm gonna pay rent."
"Your Best American Girl" contains the year's best chorus so far, one that punches you in the gut and holds you tenderly afterwards. Crunching guitar swirls through the mix s Miyawaki finds comfort and contentment in herself: "Your mother wouldn't approve of how my mother raised me, but I do, I finally do." The final two tracks ("Crack Baby" and "A Burning Hill") provide a fittingly forlorn end to a record about the search for happiness.
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. (Dead Oceans)