Mitski’s “Be the Cowboy” Tells Tales at the Edge Between Calm and Unhinged

Tight, catchy, and unique.

Album Review

Mitski
Be the Cowboy
Dead Oceans

Lavish and concise at once, “Be the Cowboy” mixes operatic drama and short pop songs in invigorating fashion. Mitski Miyawaki keeps it simple, zipping through 14 volatile tracks in 33 minutes as she acts out tales of all-consuming devotion (“Me and My Husband”), searing desire (“Blue Light”), and crushing loneliness (“Nobody”) with a controlled calm hinting at scary, nearly unhinged obsession. Framed by tight arrangements that rely on spare keyboards and guitar, her catchy songs might reveal faint echoes of predecessors like Kate Bush or Bjork, but this electrifying album feels unique—and stays remarkably fresh after repeated listenings.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate