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Life Without Mitski is Inhospitable

So we should all be thankful for ‘The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We.’

By Entertainment

‘This Land is Inhospitable and So Are We’ (2023)

The content-starved monster in the back of your head can rest, as Mitski’s back from war (i.e., silent period online) and has returned with her 7th studio album, “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We.”

For the first time in a long time, Mitski has released two studio albums in a little over a year, and her fans are rejoicing. The new album is a lullaby into hell, containing soft melodies and dark thematic lyrics that match the panic of the album’s title — basically, everything you could ask for from a Mitski Record.

Mitski’s “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” is an emotional journey. Experiencing it feels less like listening to an album, and more like reading the diary of a quiet romantic who’s continuously heartbroken.

“Bug Like an Angel” is a slow, but well-placed start to the record, and it has the energy of a campfire song played at a cult’s doomsday. “Bug Like an Angel” is oddly comforting yet eerie and unsettling. The track is a hell of a start but leaves the listener with an odd lingering feeling that never fully goes away.

The third track, “Heaven” is also strangely painful.  The sound of “Heaven”  is also very playful and fun, it starts in a quiet solitude and gradually booms out into a larger more orchestral sound.  like a quiet begging sensation or a longing for something more. Mitski is known for capturing pain in a gorgeous way, but “Heaven” feels strangely sweet along with the longing. The sound of “Heaven” is also very playful and fun, it starts in a quiet solitude and gradually booms out into a larger more orchestral sound.

“I Don’t Like My Mind,” the fourth track, is probably my favorite track off the entire album. Once again, this song has an odd pain to it; this time it’s like recognizing you have a constant pain that will never truly go away and trying to find peace with that knowledge. Mitski’s ability to convey emotions without doing anything but explain her own life’s story is completely magical. Despite not living her exact experiences, her audience can completely understand and empathize with her emotions, which is what makes her work so relatable and is also why she is so cherished by her fans.

“When Memories Snow” feels the most crazed of any of this record’s tracks. It has a momentous start that looms over the rest of the song and gains momentum as the song progresses The crazed nature of the song comes from the repetition of the lyrics and music motifs. It starts with a cry and ends with a chant.

“My Love Mine All Mine” is by far the best song on the album. It’s like a soothing lullaby from lovers not scorned, waiting for time to be as cruel as inevitably possible. “My Love Mine All Mine” feels like returning to your childhood bedroom dressed up as your mother, imitating a love you’d only ever imagined. It’s a deeply soulful song with shy instrumentals and soothingly bitter vocals. The emotion conveyed by Mitski is unspecific but harkens to small joys found in long-held sadness. The song is a standout and speaks to the larger themes and tone of the album.

However, the next track on the album, “The Frost” is deeply disappointing. It follows the established tone but feels disconnected from the pain that’s so overtly conveyed in the rest of the album. Like most other songs on “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We,” “The Frost” is short and quiet, but ultimately fails to fit in with the other tracks. It’s emotionally hollow and feels almost vain compared to the other songs. “The Frost ” comes across as a weak attempt at nostalgic sadness, and it’s made even weaker by its proximity to better tracks on the same album.

The ninth track on the album, “Star” is like a cinematic memory fading into darkness. The song starts softly and gradually becomes more and more spacious, with the instrumental gradually picking up throughout. “Star” is another lyrical and instrumental standout, and it is definitely worth a listen. “Star” is a powerful, small part of something larger. It’s soaked in narrative and blissfully smooth.

“I’m Your Man” is an odd track. Once again, like a majority of the album, the track has a soft lead-in, but unlike other tracks, “I’m Your Man” never stops being quiet. The song is soft and heartfelt, with strong overtones of guilt and longing. “I’m Your Man” feels like an ending, but not a satisfying one, and the instrumentals mimic that narrative convincingly. Once again, this album has a strong tone that flows through most of the tracks effortlessly, and “I’m Your Man” is an excellent example.

The closing track “I Love Me After You” is laced with heartache, and flows well with the previous tracks. “I Love Me After You” follows the established pattern of starting slow and building to a larger sound, though it doesn’t feel like a convincing end. Unlike “I’m Your Man,” “I Love Me After You” feels like an unfinished thought, like there’s a ghost lingering, ready to find a new house to haunt.

“The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” is an emotive masterpiece and a champion of instrumental subtlety. Through its heavy overtones and repetitious formulas, “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” creates a strong sense of atmosphere, and its ability to convey emotion is its strongest quality. The album is absolutely worth listening to multiple times, and warrants sitting down to spend some time with it.

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