Mitski had burnt out on the demands of the music business and the demands of ‘representation’, in her case pigeonholed due her Asian American heritage. The break led to this album, her “most American album … This land, which already feels inhospitable to so many of its inhabitants, is about to feel hopelessly torn and tossed again – at times, devoid of love. This album offers the anodyne”.
With an interesting range of influences this is a rich album – less synth pop than its predecessor Laurel Hell and more settled, although still with a rich soundscape. Alexis Petridis in The Guardian described it perfectly as “Playing country-inflected orchestral pop with sardonic wit and deep feeling, Mitski underlines why she’s one of the very best singer-songwriters working today”.