Albums to watch

Be The Cowboy


Be The Cowboy

Fifth album from the New York-based Japanese/American singer songwriter produced by Patrick Hyland

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Dead Oceans
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The songs on Be the Cowboy are full of introspective, stomach-pummeling lyrics sung so steadily and unblinking that they gain even more power in their understatedness
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  2. 10.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Be the Cowboy is about capriciousness, denying the contrivances of beauty in some ways while bending to its standards in others. She’s walking the divide between love and heartache, between dejection and fury. But Miyawaki has the talent to straddle that line with poise and aplomb
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  3. 10.0 |   The Guardian

    Thrillingly dark bait-and-switch pop
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  4. 10.0 |   NOW

    The record swerves through genres like disco, pop and even country on the brilliant interlude-feeling Lonesome Love. Mitski takes risks and it pays off
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  5. 9.5 |   Earbuddy

    Best pop album of the year
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  6. 9.4 |   Gig Soup

    Unambiguously, ‘Be the Cowboy’ represents 2018’s brightest artistic moment, not so much a pinnacle as yet another classic in Mitski‘s discography likely to be cherished indefinitely
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  7. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Although Be The Cowboy sees Mitski fully transformed from her lo-fi beginnings in terms of production, her post-Pixies guitar-rock tendencies still come through strong, albeit now more lush and kaleidoscopic than buzzing and raucous
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  8. 9.0 |   The 405

    If Mitski’s prior release was her breakthrough into the mainstream, then Be The Cowboy is the tour de force project to solidify her place among the most moving musicians today
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  9. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Immense in execution and focus, the album reveals her own characteristics through characters. It hones in on her desires and loneliness, both in and out of all types of relationships
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  10. 9.0 |   All Music

    Some of the tracks here are polished with a sparkling synth palette, yet nothing feels slick and easy
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  11. 8.8 |   Pitchfork

    The fifth album from the singular songwriter is her greatest to date. From the music to her emotions, Mitski has the power to make the complex seem dazzlingly clear
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  12. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    There's an outlaw spirit to this record: when shit happens you just gotta get back on the saddle
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  13. 8.3 |   Paste Magazine

    Whether she’s singing about herself or creating stand-ins that feel just like real people, Be the Cowboy shows why she is fast making herself into one of the most interesting songwriters of her generation
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  14. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Singular songs delivered with wicked precision
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  15. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Mitski's voice remains as hauntingly evocative as ever
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  16. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Decidedly more disco for Mitski, Be the Cowboy is a showdown of electrowave and her signature fretwork that brings a pop pep to heartbreak and humanity’s greatest gluttonies
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  17. 8.0 |   NME

    The American-Japanese songwriter conducts even grander musical theatrics than before
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  18. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    With ‘Be The Cowboy’ she’s seized control of her image and taken her writing to the next level of detached gender critique and sincerity.
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  19. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Even as she continues to explore the dark parts of her soul lyrically, Mitski sounds more confident than ever
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  20. 8.0 |   Q

    It's a rare songwriter who can be apocalyptic, vulnerable, funny and world-slaying. Print edition only

  21. 8.0 |   Mojo

    If at times things veer towards needy, the sum of the set is saved by how real it all feels. Print edition only

  22. 8.0 |   DIY

    It furthers her ability to create immersive worlds to fall into
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  23. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    Be The Cowboy is a standout because of its restlessness, Mitski winding each lonely melody through the peripatetic music and always landing someplace unexpectedly moving
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  24. 8.0 |   Clash

    She has the potential to be considered one of the best singer-songwriters of our generation
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  25. 8.0 |   The FT

    The artist’s voice is a dominant presence amid guitars, distressed piano, pounding beats and keyboard sounds
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  26. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Mitski’s devotion to music has resulted in a tremendously earnest and endearing record
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  27. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Sees her continue to emerge as a visionary singer-songwriter
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  28. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    Showcases over 14 tracks an artist who rarely takes an obvious route to anything
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  29. 7.6 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    There’s such a rush to these songs and, resultingly, it feels like Mitski is hurrying to capture something before it dissolves into smoke. It’s ephemeral because life is
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  30. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Suffused with romantic anxiety
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  31. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Mitski argues on Be the Cowboy that we are meant to be emotional people, and that being strong and independent often leads to loneliness
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  32. 7.0 |   Uncut

    The songs all feel very much of a piece thanks to the coherence fostered by Mitski's high but agile voice and wry, self-deprecating humour. Print edition only

  33. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Be the Cowboy may not hit the highs Mitski is capable of hitting, but it's still a solid effort from one of today's best artists
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  34. 7.0 |   The Music

    Intimate but prickly; experimental but poppy. It's sometimes machine driven but always human and a hundred other contradictions at once — which is what makes Mitski the fascinating artist she is
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  35. 7.0 |   Crack

    The unfolding narrative reveals a character looking for control amongst the loneliness and disarray of life. It’s a neat trick, allowing Mitski to delve into aching emotional territory while still keeping at a knowing distance
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  36. 7.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Mitski’s most interesting album
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