It must be intimidating to start a music career as the younger sister of Miley Cyrus. She’s such a provocative, modern artists, that it’s easy to imagine that Noah Cyrus felt a need to try and do something completely different to her older sister’s pop work, which is sort of what she’s done with Make Me (Cry). Along with her producer and collaborator Labrinth, she’s crafted a very experimental pop song, but perhaps one that feels like an experiment gone too far.
The production on Make Me (Cry) is defiantly strange, adding numerous effects and tics to an ultimately simple song about messy love. The core of the song alternates between a ballideering chorus – “I’ve never needed you like I do right now” – and more hip-hop imbued verses – “can’t hear the thunder, but I heard your heart race”. Whilst the theme is consistent, the musical style is not, and the track very much feels like two songs artificially stapled together.
This sense of structural oddness isn’t helped by Labrinth’s production choices, which only seek to highlight the differences between the sections of the song. The chorus is without percussion, and only consists of soaring piano chords, whereas the verses are mostly made up of trappy kick drum. This is complicated further by the very out-of-place bridge, which inexplicably adds in blaring horn samples straight out of a Hudson Mohawke song.
It’s obvious that Make Me (Cry) wants to be alternative and different, but it feels like that in striving for that, Cyrus and Labrinth forgot to actually write a good song. The lyrics and vocal melodies are unremarkable, and the track only really maintains a listener’s attention due to the constantly changing production style. It’s confounding to listen to, and doesn’t feel like a good start for Cyrus’ career.