I rarely do album reviews, but albums like Bangerz come along very rarely, I think? So yeah, here we go…
When I was listening to iTunes’ free preview of Miley Cyrus’ upcoming album, I found myself taking notes on each track. Therefore, I decided to turn it into track-by-track review/commentary. I recommend listening along to Bangerz as you read this and comment on whether you agree or not.
1. Adore You – This sweet ballad instantly juxtaposes Miley’s entire new getup. It’s a striking song that I can’t help but adore immediately. Bangerz is off to a nice start… surprisingly.
2. We Can’t Stop – This song continues to underwhelm and annoy me. It is catchy and works perfectly to introduce Miley’s ratchet era to fans and listeners. I can’t say I care for her whole new look and attitude, but I know Miley has the singing chops and this song doesn’t do her justice. Please stop.
3. SMS (Bangerz) (feat. Britney Spears) – Okay… wow. If Miley hasn’t proven how “grown up” she is yet, this song seals the deal. Its fast beat is catchy and provocative. Britney’s verse pops out and is the true highlight of the track.
4. 4×4 feat. (Nelly) – The country swing beat is fun, even if it seems to interrupt the flow of the album.
5. My Darlin’ (feat. Future) – Taking a break with a slow song. Miley is now trying out R&B and frankly, it just doesn’t work. I love when she shows off her range, but this song is not good. It’s mash-up of familiar sounds, and with all the other pop/R&B options readily available, “My Darlin’” is not the worth the time.
6. Wrecking Ball – THIS IS THE MILEY I LOVE. No really, this is where I direct people who guffaw when I admit I’m a Miley fan. When she gets it right, she’s amazing. The vocals, lyrics, everything is perfect. This is the true gem of the album.
7. Love Money Party (feat. Big Sean) – Miley tries out hip-hop. It’s fun with infectious lyrics and beat. It clearly works best as a club/party song. While not the best on the album, it’s one of the tracks I can see myself listening to quite few times.
8. #GETITRIGHT – A nostalgic feeling right off the beat with a defining whistling sound, the first verse hits the right mark and tone. It loses me at the chorus when Miley vocals even out with the background singers. But as it settles into the second verse, the song has me back again. A later verse is a little reminiscent of Gaga or Madonna and feels out of place in the song.
9. Drive – Mike Will Made It is all over this album. Anyway, you’d think “Drive” would be one of her faster, catchier tracks. But it’s an electric ballad and probably Mike Will Made It’s best produced track on Bangerz. Miley’s vocals are on point as well. One of the best songs off Bangerz.
10. FU (feat. French Montana) – Miley goes all Gaga-On-Her-Piano on us with this blunt jazzy song, and I love it. It’s sexy and modern. I hope this is the kind of music she graduates into once she’s over this phase she’s in. It shows off her vocal range and new maturity, while being an absolutely entertaining track. It seems this last section of Bangerz is where Miley reserved some of her best songs.
11. Do My Thang – I love the chorus Miley belts out, the rest of song is slightly above mediocre with a hip-hop beat and Miley trying to sound badass every time she says “bitch.” The tone of the song fluctuates so much that it’s hard to believe this is all one track. A little more consistency in sound and vibe would’ve work in its favor. However, you got to give Miley some cred on those fearless lyrics.
12. Maybe You’re Right – This is the most “Hannah Montana” she sounds on the album. It’s a nice ballad with good, something-to-talk-about (Re: Liam Hemsworth) lyrics. I seem to giving her ballads the most praise, but this song doesn’t fit with overall aesthetic of Bangerz. Regardless, it’s a pretty track, yet not as striking as “Wrecking Ball,” “Adore You” or even “FU.”
13. Someone Else – Another ballad with electronica undertones. It’s the perfect companion to the previous track with its heartbroken lyrics. Again not as memorable as some other tracks, but good enough to enjoy and not skip when listening to the album. It’s a mellow and unexpected choice to end an album like Bangerz with. You can’t help but want something more, in both a good and bad way.
Overall Thoughts: Miley Cyrus may be all grown up now, but her music doesn’t completely reflect maturity. Bangerz is all over the place; we go from something hyper-sexualized to something heartbreaking and somber, and there’s still some odd stuff in between. However, there are a few great-to-good tracks on Bangerz, making it a fascinating listen to fans and even non-fans of Miley. She can only go up from here. Let’s hope she stops trying so hard.
Bangerz by Miley Cyrus hits stores on October 8th.