Miley Cyrus showcases vocal talent on ‘Bangerz’
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 08:10
It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for: the release of Miley Cyrus’ new album, “Bangerz.” Regardless of her crazy antics, fans and critics alike have been anxiously anticipating the arrival of Cyrus’ new album — especially because her recent single, “Wrecking Ball,” surprised listeners with its catchiness and deeper meaning (despite the nonsensical music video that followed). Unfortunately, for the Miley haters, there is bad news: “Bangerz” is actually good.
Cyrus opens the record with the ballad “Adore You.” Like “Wrecking Ball,” the slow tempo of the song allows Cyrus to show off her true talents. On “Adore You,” she puts all the scandalous partying, drug use and nudity aside and really focuses on the vocals that made her so successful in first place. No matter the context of the lyrics, there is simply no denying that Cyrus is talented. “Adore You,” along with many of the other slow tracks on the album, clearly seems to address Cyrus’ broken engagement with actor Liam Hemsworth, as she sings, “We were meant to be / In holy matrimony.”
This theme continues on “My Darling.” Cyrus croons, “Pictured us walking through the altar / For better or for worse.” Here, Cyrus once again creates a fantastic juxtaposition of real vocals against catchy pop interjections. Though party anthems such as “We Can’t Stop” might invoke a few emotions from Cyrus, these feelings are simply not as profound as those produced on other tracks like “My Darling.”
Unfortunately, title track “SMS (Bangerz)” leaves something to be desired. For one thing, Cyrus steps into a Ke$ha-like rapping style in the beginning of the song — something she can’t seem to master. Britney Spears, who is featured on the track, is allotted a mere 30 seconds in which she also attempts to rap — and is also unsuccessful. This failed vocal style, along with a pressing, overwhelming beat makes for a disappointing number.
Perhaps the most interesting piece on the album is “4x4.” On this tune, Cyrus reaches back to her Nashville roots, delivering edginess with a country twist. Even Nelly’s verse on the track manages to maintain the Southern feel.
On “#GETITRIGHT,” Miley utilizes the same talent she harnesses so skillfully on her ballad tracks and pairs it with a fun, upbeat tempo and a whistle riff that you just can’t avoid mimicking. “#GETITRIGHT” also features amazing runs and highlights Cyrus’ range, which is quite impressive. Another remarkable feature on the album is the aptly titled “FU.” Starting slow, the song works its way into a steady piano beat with a hint of dubstep. Cyrus declares, “I’ve got two, ooh letters for you / One of them’s ‘F’ and the other one’s ‘U’ / ‘Cause what you gotta do is go get yourself a clue.” With undoubtedly clever lyrics, “FU” holds appeal across the board — anyone with an ex will find himself or herself screaming along.
The lyrical genius on the album — with the help from producers Mike WiLL Made It and Pharrell Williams — is revealed on “Someone Else.” Cyrus sings, “If you’re looking for love / Know that love don’t live here anymore / He left with my heart / They both walked through that door without me.” It’s a relatively simple use of personification, yet Cyrus’ performance seems to spark some real creativity. The song, like others on the album, is also easy for audiences to relate to, giving it an extra boost.
Other tracks such as “Love Money Party,” “Drive” and “Do My Thang” all fit into Cyrus’ high-tempo style. Though they’re not bad, they’re definitely not her best. However, it is safe to say that Cyrus has proved herself on “Bangerz.” Although there are some obvious low points, Cyrus’ talent is evident throughout. And it wouldn’t be a true Miley Cyrus album if there weren’t a few shallow, lighthearted songs that reference her favorite recreational drugs. In any case, these drawbacks are not enough to bring down the album as a whole — a true showcase of Cyrus’ musical abilities.