Okay, maybe I spoke too soon. Miley’s latest album has different covers. The LP and online- only deluxe edition show her topless.
But hey, Bangerz isn’t actually all that bad. It kind of sounds like Hannah Montana’s music on club drugs.
Miley described her new sound as “dirty South hip- hop“, but the dirtiest most Southern thing about the album is Cyrus herself. Despite producers’ Southern origins, Bangerz comes off more Nashville than ATL, especially on tracks like “4×4” and “Love Money Party”. Synthesizers and rapper collaborators can’t hide the fact that Miley has a voice made for country music. At times, her voice clashes with the synth beats and sounds downright awful (“Hands in the Air”, “FU”). But twang aside, the lyrics , rhythms and vocal stylings Miley uses score more points on a country music scale than an R&B one. This album is like the awkward marriage of old- school country and new- school hip- hop. Incorporating elements of Roy Orbison’s “Unchained Melody” (on “My Darlin'”) and Britney Spears’ “Toxic” (on “SMS (Bangerz)”) also place her closer to pop. Plus, her lyrics don’t sound much more sophisticated than the ones on 2008’s “Breakout”. They just contain more dirty words.
You can’t blame Miley for trying, though. Cyrus has struggled to stay relevant since Hannah Montana’s conclusion in 2011. Her new look, vibe and sound might seem like a series of offensive outbursts, but the attention- grabbing worked: Bangerz debuted in the Top 10 this week and “Wrecking Ball” holds the Number 2 spot on the singles charts. The album proves Miley has some definite talent and plays well with others. It would be nice to see her public persona take a backseat to her skill as a singer, but that’s not exactly the world we live in.
High points: “Adore You”, “Wrecking Ball” , “We Can’t Stop”, “#GETITRIGHT”, “Rooting For My Baby (Bonus Track)”
Note: Pharell Williams gets sole songwriting credit on #GETITRIGHT and the song sounds like a holdover from Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories”, right down to the funk riffs. It sounds good on Miley’s voice, though.
Low points: “FU”, any time Miley says “Mike WILL Made It”, the part in “4×4” when she pisses herself
SONGS MILEY CO-WROTE: “We Can’t Stop”, “SMS (Bangerz)”, “4 x 4”, “My Darlin'”, “Love Money Party”, “Drive”, “FU”, “Do My Thang”, “Maybe You’re Right”, “Someone Else”
SONGS MILEY DID NOT WRITE: “Adore You”, “Wrecking Ball”, “#GETITRIGHT”,
Full songwriting credits here.
Listen to Bangerz online through Spotify.
Here are all the Bangerz covers, because Miley is a schitzo.