Puberty 2

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Puberty 2
Mitskipuberty2.jpg
Studio album by Mitski
Released June 17, 2016 (2016-06-17)
Recorded Acme Studios
(Westchester, New York)
Genre
Length 31:25
Label Dead Oceans
Producer Patrick Hyland
Mitski chronology
Bury Me at Makeout Creek
(2014)
Puberty 2
(2016)
Be the Cowboy
(2018)
Singles from Puberty 2
  1. "Your Best American Girl"
    Released: March 1, 2016[1]
  2. "Happy"
    Released: May 3, 2016[2]

Puberty 2 is the fourth studio album by Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski, released on June 17, 2016, through by Dead Oceans. The album received widespread acclaim from music critics, with many praising Mitski's emotional delivery and lyrically-complex themes, which include longing, love, depression, alienation, and racial identity.

Background and recording[edit]

In a Q&A with Stereogum regarding Puberty 2, Mitski stated that after the breakout indie success of her third studio album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, she felt out of touch with music, and that she "went back to her roots" in recording Puberty 2 by drawing inspiration from the compositions of all three of her previous studio albums. She also stated that in contrast to her previous album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Puberty 2's music would not be made with the intent to be performed live at DIY venues in similar renditions, and instead she would create new renditions of the songs to perform live.[3] The album was recorded entirely in the now-defunct Acme Studios in Westchester, New York, over a two-week period with producer and longtime collaborator Patrick Hyland.[3][4]

Composition[edit]

The New York Times labeled the sound of Puberty 2 as "an impressive collection of D.I.Y. punk and indie rock".[5] According to Jillian Mapes of Pitchfork, Puberty 2's composition contains second-wave emo, "wistful dream pop", "slow-simmering electronics", "brusquely strummed folk-punk", surf guitar, and "plenty of '60s pop hooks". Mapes also noted Mitski's vocal delivery on the album to go through different "modes", including "deadpan disenfranchisement, smooth R&B, dream pop croon, gasping-for-breath pleas, [and] wall of harmonies (with herself)".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic87/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubA[9]
Consequence of SoundA−[10]
Exclaim!9/10[11]
The Guardian4/5 stars[12]
Pitchfork8.5/10[6]
Q4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[14]
Spin9/10[15]
Uncut8/10[16]

Puberty 2 was released to widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 87, based on 22 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[7] Critics praised the album's more restrained and nuanced emotional trajectory, as well as its complex lyrical themes, which include longing, love, depression, alienation, and racial identity.[10][17] Laura Snapes or NPR commented on the album's subtlety, writing that Puberty 2 "is a strike against the happy/sad poles that govern our lives."[18] Katie Rife of The A.V. Club deemed it "a triumphant new step in her evolution".[9]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
The A.V. Club The A.V. Club's Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
8
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
5
Pitchfork The 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016 2016 N/A
The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
18
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
23
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2016
73
The Skinny Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
15
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
8
Time The Top 10 Best Albums 2016
3

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mitski Miyawaki.

No.TitleLength
1."Happy"3:40
2."Dan the Dancer"2:25
3."Once More to See You"3:01
4."Fireworks"2:37
5."Your Best American Girl"3:32
6."I Bet on Losing Dogs"2:50
7."My Body's Made of Crushed Little Stars"1:56
8."Thursday Girl"3:08
9."A Loving Feeling"1:32
10."Crack Baby"4:52
11."A Burning Hill"1:49
Total length:31:25

Personnel[edit]

  • Mitski – music, performance, album art
  • Patrick Hyland – production, performance, mastering, photographs

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[29] 5
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[30] 18
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[31] 32
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[32] 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ S, Andrew (March 1, 2016). "Mitski Announces 'Puberty 2' Out June 17th On Dead Oceans". Dead Oceans. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  2. ^ Andrew (May 3, 2016). "Mitski Shares New Single, "Happy"". Dead Oceans. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Rettig, James (June 8, 2016). "Q&A: Mitski Goes Back To Her Roots On Puberty 2". Stereogum. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Mitski - Chart history". Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ Caramanica, Jon (June 2, 2016). "Mitski's 'Puberty 2' Mines Her Scars for Raw Meaning". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Mapes, Jillian (June 22, 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2 Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for Puberty 2 by Mitski". Metacritic. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "Puberty 2 – Mitski". AllMusic. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Rife, Katie (June 17, 2016). "Adulthood is such sweet sorrow on Mitski's powerful Puberty 2". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Dolan, Ciara (June 15, 2016). "Mitski – Puberty 2". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ Mackie, Conor (June 17, 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 3, 2018. 
  12. ^ Jonze, Tim (June 16, 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2 review – unflinching confessional pop full of wit and pain". The Guardian. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  13. ^ Solomon, Kate (June 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2". Q (361): 112. 
  14. ^ Exposito, Suzy (June 17, 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  15. ^ Weiss, Dan (June 13, 2016). "Review: Mitski Really Gives Emo Something to Write Home About on 'Puberty 2′". Spin. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  16. ^ Wallace, Wyndham (July 2016). "Mitski: Puberty 2". Uncut (230): 78. 
  17. ^ Breihan, Tom (June 14, 2016). "Album Of The Week: Mitski Puberty 2". Stereogum. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  18. ^ Snapes, Laura (June 9, 2016). "Review: Mitski, 'Puberty 2'". NPR. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  19. ^ "The A.V. Club's Top 50 Albums of 2016". The A.V. Club. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  20. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Paste. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ "The 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016". Pitchfork. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  22. ^ Frank, Alex (December 13, 2016). "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  23. ^ Spanos, Brittany (November 28, 2016). "50 Best Albums of 2016". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2016". The Skinny. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  26. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Stereogum. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  27. ^ "The Top 10 Best Albums". Time. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Puberty 2 Mitski CD Album". CDJapan. Retrieved August 24, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Mitski - Chart history". Billboard. United States. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Mitski - Chart history". Billboard. United States. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Mitski - Chart history". Billboard. United States. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Mitski - Chart history". Billboard. United States. Retrieved October 6, 2017.