BEST OF 2016

MAGNET’s #12 Album Of 2016: Mitski’s “Puberty 2”


For Mitski Miyawaki, happiness is neither a self-evident truth nor an unalienable right, instead a boorish lout who eats her cookies, drinks her tea, grabs her by the pussy (Trump paraphrasing) and leaves. Twenty years after Rivers Cuomo invaded our collective privacy, turning his own misery into others’ delight, this half-Japanese woman finally gets her cold-dished reply, and it’s both harmonious and harmful, a graphic artist filleting the most violent connotations of a crush: Its flickering drone footage of her failed relationships pitched as a selfie snuff film, its love-shivved antiheroine bleeding out to a beat. As with puberty one, there are moments on this album that hit like C-4 in your chest and an elevator to the head. Following “Fireworks” with “Your Best American Girl” is an emo pile-on of Cap’n Jazz proportions, but Mitski’s just getting warm. “I wanna see the whole world!” she rages on “My Body’s Made Of Crushed Little Stars”—betraying a redlining, Neutral Milk Hotel-squatting arsonist at heart—and yet her range, from airy arias to Pixies-dusted punk, suggests that at age 26, she’s already been there and done that.

—Noah Bonaparte Pais