To say that Miley Cyrus is a bit of a hot topic would be an understatement. The fruits of her highly discussed exploits over the past year have all been poured into her new album Bangerz. Do you think it’s possible to review this album without taking into account the VMA incident, the twerking, the sledge-hammer licking and the overall distancing away from Miley’s former Disney child star persona Hannah Montana? It’d be hard not to.
Not since the infamous tabloid antics of Miley’s long-time hero Britney Spears in 2007 have we seen such fuss over a pop star of Miley’s calibre. Miley Cyrus and her new album are absolutely scandalous. Perhaps we should keep this review strictly about the music rather than the public debauchery Miley has been displaying of late. Hopefully we can stick to that.
Album highlights include the all dominating ‘We Can’t Stop’ – a song that has very much set the tone for Miley’s subsequent album campaign. Miley does at least make an effort to gain some sense of musicianship with ‘Adore You’. To open with a ballad on a pop album is always risky. She gets away with it – just.
Scattered throughout the album are countless lyrics acknowledging her new rebellious attitude – no more so than on ‘Maybe You’re Right’. Featuring the lyrics ‘You might think I’m crazy / That I’m lost and foolish’, you should probably make of that what you will.
There are other lyrics on Bangerz that make for further discussion. On the brilliant ‘4×4’ which features Nelly, Miley sings, ‘driving so fast ’bout piss on myself’. She’s lucky this dirty-south number is good so as we can forget that line ever happened. She should have channelled whatever she had going on in that song into ‘SMS (Bangerz)’ though. Miley’s collaboration with Britney Spears tries to be outrageous like the best of Spears’ songs at the peak of her musical career. Ultimately the song falls short, which is a shame.
There are a number of other very strong tracks on Bangerz. The Will.i.am produced ‘Do My Thang’ and the Ben E. King ‘Stand By Me’ sampling ‘My Darlin’ both establish a set of album tracks that helps to make Bangerz a genuinely good pop album. ‘FU’ featuring French Montana is another one that does this. Miley showcases some surprisingly strong vocal abilities in a song that swings like a wicked pumped up Amy Winehouse song. ‘FU’ is a seriously exciting track with all the right ingredients that could well lead up to being a future smash.
Props to Miley. She’s got this album to flog and no other pop star this year has had a PR campaign as high profile as hers. Bangerz will quite likely top a number of charts around the world and define 2013 as the year of Miley. It’s good to know she’s got a half decent album to back up this claim.
Standout tracks: ‘We Can’t Stop’ / ‘4X4 (feat. Nelly)’ / ‘FU (feat. French Montana)’ / ‘Maybe You’re Right’