Mitski has ended her indefinite leave with the perfect comeback album, Laurel Hell


Apple Music

The album cover for the legendary Laurel Hell by Mitski.

Laurel Hell: Mitski’s reappearance into the music world and her wave “hello” to fans after a long four years dormant.

This album might’ve never been an album in the first place, and for that, my already loud crying became a full-blown cryfest. My ugly crying was muffled by the angelic persona she exudes in her music, but I can’t come to terms with the fact that I might’ve never heard new Mitski music ever again.  

After Mitski released the astounding Be the Cowboy, she thought she had reached a peak in her career and that her talent was no longer interesting. Mitski went on a two-year hiatus before she realized that her career is not a waste. 

Just a few days ago, Feb. 4, 2022, fans welcomed Mitski back into the scene, even if it wasn’t an official return. 

In the decade since she released her first, self-published album, Lush, Mitski has never had a “flop” album. Album after album, year after year, she manages to pull out her best tricks and stun listeners with her voice. Each album is an improvement from the previous, but really, there is nothing to perfect.

Mitski’s unique vocals are meant to be flaunted—meant to be heard by the millions and praised for the years to come. Her voice is perfect, and her music is perfect, but Mitski is just perfect in general, so it makes sense. No matter how sad or how energetic Mitski songs get, there’s still one main, undoubtable factor: the voice handcrafted by gods and bestowed upon her. 

With anticipation this high for her sixth album, Laurel Hell, I was expecting nothing. No matter what, I trust Mitski to never let her fans down, especially after her indefinite hiatus. I already knew it was going to be good, and as always, it was beautiful in its own special way. Mitski opened up to her fans in a broader aspect—something that she has only done in a minute manner.  

Mitski opened up to her fans in a broader aspect—something that she has only done in a minute manner.

The first track, “Valentine, Texas,” kickstarts the perfect reentrance album: “Let’s step carefully into the dark/Once we’re in, I’ll remember my way around/Who will I be tonight?/Who will I become tonight?” These first few lines of the first song introduce Laurel Hell as an album that is very reminiscent of the past few years where Mitski was figuring out who she was and who she wanted to be. 

All eleven of the songs on Laurel Hell are full of energizing beats and catchy tempos. Never is there a blunt song on a Mitski album, and there is no exception here. With a twinge of alternative paired with her notorious melancholic lyrics, this is my favorite no-skip album. 

There’s consistency within this album. There aren’t points where the songs soften or become overly exaggerated—they showcase the signature Mitski feeling: sad and loveless. However, this time, along with Mitski’s hit-or-miss love life, the album extends that theme by looking back on how the past few years have impacted her in terms of self-growth in many areas. 

Mitski is meeting with reality and deciding where she should go from here: make her indefinite leave definite or leave the music industry entirely. Her music has impacted a huge group of teens for the past decade. She sings about relevant topics that teens like me can relate to on a different level. In classic Mitski fashion, she mends together her lyrics and themes to the music itself, proving her significance in the industry. 

On Laurel Hell, depressing songs like “I Guess” and “There’s Nothing Left Here for You” prod my heart with hot sewing needles. Despite me being perfectly content with my life right now—excluding Geometry, of course—there was no need for me to be this happy about new songs that ended up deeply destroying me. 

Until the day Mitski decides to retire from her successful career in singing beautiful songs that end up breaking the fragile, little heart in me, I’ll forever welcome her new work with open arms and cherish the projects she has already blessed upon the public.