Album Review: Bangerz, by Miley Cyrus

bangerz

Album Review: Bangerz, Miley Cyrus

Bangerz: Something that radiates unbelievable swell or swag. (Source: urbandictionary.com)

And swag she does – Miley Cyrus’s new album Bangerz, her third post-Hannah Montana project, leans heavily on urban and hip hop stylings, courtesy of Atlanta based rap/hip-hop producer Mike Will Made It.  In fact, the entire direction of the album can pretty much be summed up in one line from her song “Do My Thang“: Oh yeah I’m a southern belle, I told ya’ll once before I get crazier than hell.” Surprisingly, crazy does not always equal bad on this year’s most talked about album.

If you can get past the über sexed up image of a former Disney starlet, aren’t bothered by songs peppered with profanity, drug use, mediocre vocal ability and some ridiculous lyrics, then there are a handful of tracks that are actually GOOD and worth listening to on this disc. The best cuts are the ones that don’t revolve around drugs and partying, but find Miley in a vulnerable state, wearing her heart on her sleeve. Songs like “Adore” and “My Darlin'” contain romantic musings and wistful nods to walking down the aisle (

I love lying next to you/I could do this for eternity/You and me/We’re meant to be in holy matrimony).  One has to wonder if most of the songs are an autobiographical representation of her failed relationship with Liam Hemsworth and how Miley’s dealing with the aftermath of an engagement gone wrong. Her second single “Wrecking Ball” is easily the best song on the album, but there are other standout tracks including the catchy Pharell produced “#GetitRight”, and “Drive.”

Bangerz musical influences mix together a throwback sound that’s reminiscent of early 90s hip hop, pop/rock and even country (“4×4” featuring Nelly). An unusual conglomeration of sounds, but strangely, they work here. And even though Miley’s not a gifted vocalist by any means, there are a few moments when you can hear something really good in her voice and wish she’d tap into that instead of the auto-tuned average pop performance found on most of the album.

No matter what you think of her “downward spiral,” Miley’s probably not really crazy, but embarking on a very carefully thought out publicity stunt involving the shedding of her clothes, twerking, tongues and foam fingers to put her back in the spotlight to boost album sales. Billy Ray doesn’t seem concerned about her, so maybe we should let her work her demons out – after all, she’s just being Miley.
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