Album Review: Lush by Mitski


Hannah Whitehead, Staff Writer

Mitski, a Japanese-American indie-rock singer, creates songs that speak for thousands. With her heartbreaking voice and emotional lyrics, anyone would be brought to tears. I reviewed her first album, Lush, and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

“Abbey”: shows waiting and wanting something to become of you, but not knowing what that will be. It feels like convincing yourself that you’re important and needed but knowing deep down inside that you aren’t. You become more agitated as you wait for yourself to be something, but still not knowing or understanding what that is. 

“Liquid smooth”: Society has made girls believe that they’re only desirable when they are still youthful. In this song I imagine you are begging for someone to love you before you are no longer desirable. Mitski says, “How I feel this river rushing through my veins/ with no where else to go it circles the drain.” These lines genuinely capture how it feels to know you are young and that people should love you, but no one does so your potential goes to waste. 

“Eric”: is one of my favorites from her. It feels like you’re longing for a love so you are willing to do anything for that. Wanting to hold and love your partner but they only want you for your body. You continue to convince yourself that they feel the same, but deep down you know they don’t. The song starts soft and sweet, but by the end it grows so much more intense as the burning passion to love and be loved consumes you. 

“Brand New City”: In this song I imagine you are losing yourself and truly realizing that. In the chorus Mitski asks over and over what they took from her. The ‘they’ in those lines can truly represent anything. What did your parents take from you, your ex, your friends, it can even represent yourself. Mitski says, “If I gave up on being pretty I wouldn’t know how to be alive.” I think this represents feeling as if your beauty is the only important thing about you. Not having anything else to offer so if you gave up on trying to present yourself, you wouldn’t know what to do with your life. 

“Real Men”: is honestly such a good song although it feels like it is a show tune. ‘Real men’ shouldn’t show any emotion or be normal in any sense. You expect the same thing of yourself in a way. The song describes ‘little boys’ and how they take what they want and throw them away when they’re done. You prefer the ‘little boys’ because at least their love is genuine before they use you up and throw you away. The ‘real men’ only love you for your body and when they’re done using you up, they throw you away like they never loved you. 

“Wife”: captures such a raw and real emotion that you don’t know how to feel about it when its over. You aren’t able to give your lover what they truly want and you feel so guilty and heartbroken over that. The ‘son’ in the song can be interpreted as a genuine child or something more than that. You try as hard as you possibly can to give them what they want, but ultimately you can’t. You’re scared that they will leave you so you do anything in your power to make it up to them. Mitski talks about naming the son but not even knowing your own name. At the end Mitski says, “so let me go towards the morning star with hope it won’t disappear.” I see this as you begging to stay with them and hoping that their love for you won’t disappear. 

Bag of bones”:  is by far one of my favorite songs on this album. I imagine it is you not knowing yourself and asking what your partner at the time thinks of you. You give them what they want so maybe they can love you a little in the process. They only want to use you, but you just want a morsel of love. You’re tired of searching for who you are and tired of being used. Mitski says, “And I hope you leave right before the sun comes up so ai can watch it alone.” I see this as you wanting to see the start of a new day by yourself in hopes that things will be different. You grow more irritated as you truly realize that you’re sick of being used and thrown away. At the end Mitski repeats over and over again, “I can take a little bit more/ let’s shake this poet out of the beast.” I think she is referring to herself as the beast and saying that they can use her and abuse her until she is nothing but words used for songs. 

Door”: You’re getting close to a door, but you can never get close enough to go through. You long to see what is on the other side, but you still cannot see through. Mitski talks about how she finally found the door, and when she looked through it was love, violent and hopeless love. 

“Pearl Diver”: Mitski is referring to herself in the third person. She dives into her career and lets it consume her completely. She says, “Those creatures of your working mind don’t fear them or their hunger.” She is urging herself to become more and more developed into her career without noticing that it is taking over every aspect of her life. She also says that, “if you didn’t want the beautiful so badly/ perhaps you would have found it in your spirit singing softly.” Mitski is so hyper-focused on the fact that she needs to maintain her beauty and does so much to achieve it. My favorite part of the song is when she continues to repeat “pearl diver dive dive deeper/down” and holds the note for so long that it feels like it is her last attempt at keeping her head above water. 

 My Ranking: 

  1. Bag of Bones
  2. Wife
  3. Eric
  4. Real men
  5. Abbey
  6. Pearl Diver- 
  7. Brand New City
  8. Liquid Smooth
  9. Door