The past year has seen Miley Cyrus become one of the most talked-about celebrities of recent times as we’ve watched her publicly re-invent herself both musically and personally. The 20-year old from Nashville keeps finding new ways to surprise us and her new album Bangerz is no exception.
Bangerz is a special type of album that you will either love or hate from the first listen, but improves with each time you hear it. Behind the drama, the nudity and the public feuding is a very talented and intelligent young woman with a promising career ahead of her.
The two singles from the album, We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball showcase the two polar ends of the musical spectrum contained in her fourth album Bangerz. A string of famous guests appear on the album including Britney Spears, Nelly and Big Sean as Miley serves an eclectic 13-track pop-hip-hop-country collection interspersed with emotional ballads most likely reflecting her well-publicised relationship and break-up with actor Liam Hemsworth.
The first song Adore You is the biggest reminder of how talented this woman is, showcasing her vocal range in a beautiful, heartfelt ballad sang over floaty R&B beats. This is easily one of the album’s best tracks as Miley shows off her growth both lyrically and musically.
Party pop song We Can’t Stop comes up next before the party continues with SMS (Bangerz).Pop veteran Britney Spears joins Miley on this one – a gritty, synth-pop hip-hop based dance track which samples Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s Push It as the ladies try their hand at rapping. The song is somewhat repetitive which can get annoying but is a solid party track perfect for the clubs.
Bangerz slows down for a while with My Darlin’, a Stand By Me-sampling R&B style ballad featuring Future. Generally speaking, the emotional driven songs are the better songs on Bangerz and this track is another example, as is the later track Drive. Miley again shows off her vocal abilities as she takes a step away from her previous cheerful pop style and towards a more hip-hop, R&B based sound in these heartfelt tunes.
The powerful pop ballad Wrecking Ball comes in next, showing off more of Cyrus’ strong emotional side as she sings the hit single. This side of her re-emerges again later in Maybe You’re Right and Someone Else as she discusses the ending of a relationship.
The mood is lifted by the hip hop track Love Money Party, featuring Big Sean and the Pharrell Williams written and produced #GETITRIGHT. The latter is oozing in Pharrell’s influence, with a catchy, fun yet mellow beat and sexually charged lyrics (“I’ve been laying in this bed/All night long/Don’t you think it’s time/To get it on”).
Cyrus shows her resilient nature in the passion fuelled F U featuring French Montana as she channels Adele in a powerful track possibly directed at now ex-boyfriend Hemsworth (“I’ve got two letters for you/One of them’s F and the other one’s U”). Miley continues to show her independence with Do My Thang, a mainstream-friendly hit reinforcing her carefree nature.
Overall, Bangerz is an impressive collection as the young musician wears her heart on her sleeve discussing her experiences in love and heartbreak (Adore You, Drive, Wrecking Ball) and combines hip-hop, R&B, synth and pop to create several dance party favourites (#GETITRIGHT, We Can’t Stop, Do My Thang). Bangerz will surprise many who may have underestimated Miley Cyrus in the past as she proves to be more than just a pop star with a pretty face.
[CBC country=”us” show=”y”][/CBC]
[CBC country=”au” show=”y”][/CBC]