Puberty 2 opens with a song that speaks to the emotion of happiness as real person, providing a first hand look to at Mitski’s fleeting ability to remain happy. Throughout the album Mitski maintains this discussion through a series of telling metaphors. On “Crack Baby,” Mitski provides a particularly dark look at depression and sadness suggesting that a depressed person seeks happiness in the same way a “Crack Baby” seeks cocaine.
The metaphor works extraordinarily well. Happiness is what keeps people going in life, but depression provides people with extreme levels of sadness without knowing how to rid themselves of this pain. Mitski makes parallels between depression and babies born addicted to cocaine:
“Crack baby you don’t know what you want
But you know that you need it
And you know that you need it bad”
Essentially, Mitski suggests that depressed people are in withdrawal of happiness, but they do not know how to give themselves another dose. All of this combines for an extremely dark song.
Aesthetically, the song matches the darkness of the lyrics. Mitski’s melody is writhe with pain. Dark keyboards accompany extremely low bass tonalities and somber guitar tones culminating in a moving texture. The production is especially vivid providing the song with an extremely heavy impact with no brightness in sight.
Although there are moments of soaring pop melody on Puberty 2, Mitski seems to be putting as much effort as possible into darkness providing her listener with an in-depth look at her internal struggle.