#REVIEW: MILEY CYRUS – “BANGERZ”
All eyes are on Miley Cyrus and fourth Studio Disc Bangerz really is a make-it-or-break-it moment for the Multimedia Mogul in this her transitioning to a legitimate Adult Artist. And we know she’s succeeding as increasingly we feel guilty for making Hannah Montana references when mentioning her name in the same breath. If you love Rihanna, you absolutely will get the current Cyrusian Era. The parallels musically speaking are obvious, like the Urban-Electonica-inspired Pop. The messages are not dissimilar – bold self-expression, partying hard and the occasional glimpse of introspection into their turbulent, complex psyches. Either you embrace them or you don’t – either way, they don’t need your approval.
Artistically and vocally, this is Cyrus’ shining moment and she owes much of her success to Co-Producer Mike Will Made It, who infuses a edgy freshness into her Sound which she surely couldn’t have attained on her own. Don’t get me wrong, I love Party in the U.S.A. like any other Smiler (what she calls her Fans), but this sh*t is next-level.
The strongest offerings on this 13-track Collection are absolutely stellar – not to say the entire Disc is cohesively brilliant because some are more believable than others. First Single We Can’t Stop absolutely cannot be denied in its mid-tempo melodic melancholy and the Synth-Power Ballad, Wrecking Ball, is gut-wrenchingly affecting. The 20-year-old’s powerful and resonant vocals can emote to great effect when she chooses to do so and such is the case with the delicate Adore You, which sets the generally feel-good mood of the Disc. Maybe You’re Right is in the same vein as Wrecking Ball – beautiful and unusual at once – giving us first-hand insight on her recent split from Liam Hemsworth. “You think I’m crazy/That I’m lost and foolish leaving you behind/Maybe you’re right”, she sings.
Pop Royalty Britney Spears lends a hand on the sassy and swaggy SMS (Bangerz), a Rap-Off between two of our favourite Southern Belles, while the catchily-hypnotic 4×4 (featuring Nelly) has Cyrus proudly declaring those Southern roots while some of her Country-Pop Contemporaries have shed their beginnings for middle-of-the-road fare and Mainstream success. The bouncy #GETITRIGHT is unmistakably Pharrell Williams and that is a good thing. FU (featuring French Montana) is a not-so-cryptic attack from a scorned Cyrus, giving us a deeper understanding why her much-publicized relationship may have faltered, singing “I’ve got two, two, two, letters for you/One of them’s F/And the other one’s U/’Cause what you’ve gotta do is go get yourself the clue”.
Moments like My Darlin’ (featuring Future) and Love Money Party (featuring Big Sean) veer a bit too far to the Alternative-Urban to be believable perhaps and I rather would have heard Material a bit more engaging more like the Disc’s first two Singles in lieu of these.
Regardless though, Cyrus really gives it her all here, pouring her heart out on Bangerz. Call it calculated, call it manipulative – Cyrus is an ever-changing Woman in charge of her destiny and whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, we’re all listening and watching.
Sony Music releases Bangerz on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Order it on iTunes here.