Artist: Miley Cyrus
Release date: October 4th, 2013
If you came looking for another Hannah Montana record, then you are in the wrong place. With this album Miley Cyrus completely pulls herself away from the image set for her by her years with Disney. This image change has gained her a huge amount of buzz. Whether you like what she is doing or not, Miley is just being Miley and it is working to her advantage. Her new image shouldn’t be too shocking though; I mean, she did warn us back in 2010 that she cannot be tamed.
Bangerz begins with two of the album’s strongest tracks- “Adore You” and the lead single “We Can’t Stop.” “Adore You” is a great, very heartfelt, possibly bittersweet love song. The verses are fairly straightforward and sweet, but in the chorus, she sings, “When you say love me, know I love you more. When you say you need me, know I need you more” These lyrics could just be an ode to how in love she is, but with her recent engagement being called off it makes you wonder.
Next, of course, is “We Can’t Stop” which we’ve all heard about a million times by now because the song is everywhere. This is a very straightforward and solid party track- the title basically tells you all you need to know. It’s honestly one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard in my life, which is essentially what a radio pop song hopes to accomplish. “We Can’t Stop” is pretty much just an updated version of her previous hit, “Party in the USA.”
After this, the album starts getting weird and falling apart with “SMS (Bangerz)” and “4×4.” “SMS” features a guest appearance from Britney Spears and it really does not do much for the song. “4×4” is a very awkward country club tune that is comparable to her old Hannah Montana song “Hoedown Throwdown,” but somehow worse. Both songs contain some of Miley’s most ‘out here’ lyrics such as, “They ask me how I keep a man; I keep a battery keep” from “SMS” and “Driving so fast, I’m ‘bout to piss on myself.” This is definitely not the Miley of years past.
Things get a little better with “My Darlin’.” Miley borrows some lyrics from the Ben E. King hit “Stand By Me.” This is a song about her disengagement. It begins with “I walked through a pool of water and I saw the shadow of a broken girl. I pictured us walking down the altar for better or for worse.” The song starts pretty strong, but it kind of loses what makes it special when Future comes in because it sounds like he just drunkenly slurred some stuff into a microphone and then auto tuned it. You can really hear the pain in Miley’s voice when she sings the line “Take me as I am or not.” The ballads on this album are really where Miley shines.
The album’s second single, “Wrecking Ball,” comes after this. This is another one of the better moments of the album. It is a very bittersweet love ballad. Listen to it without the video though, because the video will ruin it for you.
The album kind of starts to fall apart again though. The song “Love, Money, Party” features the most obnoxious instrumental on the entire album and lyrics that are even worse. Oddly enough, Big Sean’s verse is the most enjoyable part of this song. “#GETITRIGHT” isn’t much better. It sounds like the cousin of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” but not as good, musically. The lyrics are incredibly lazy and it’s a very forgettable song in my opinion.
“Drive” is another balladesque song, but it doesn’t do very much for me compared to the other songs like it on the album, but it isn’t awful.
I have really nothing good to say about “FU” except for I kind of like the beat during the chorus. Miley tries to get soulful, but it sounds astoundingly fake and forced. Again, the lyricism is terrible and lazy.
“Do My Thang” is another song about Miley being Miley. It’s a horrible song, but it is so much fun. Miley shows off her inner Southern belle and gets pretty redneck with the second verse that starts off with, “Bang, bitch. It’s bananas like a fucking ‘rangutan, bitch.”
Miley ends the next track, “Maybe You’re Right” by saying, “Let me go to the top one more time” and then the final track, “Someone Else” starts playing and it features some similar melodies and chord progressions to the opener “Adore You” and the album kind of ties itself together that way.
Miley is just being Miley and sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t at all. She has definitely given herself a new image though.
The album’s lazy lyricism and Miley’s tendency to sound like Mike Will Made It’s puppet are the main downfalls of Bangerz. In response to the lazy lyricism though, pop music isn’t meant to make you think, which is unfortunate, it is meant to make money and be the background music to whatever you are doing. Bangerz has its solid moments, but when it’s bad, it is really bad. If you want a pop album that is solid all the way through, stick with Katy Perry’s One of the Boys, but if you want something to just have fun with, Bangerz is for you. (By Nathan Cornell)
Songs to check out: Adore You, We Can’t Stop, Wrecking Ball, My Darlin’, Do My Thang
Listen to “Wrecking Ball” below: