BY: FRANCISCO FLORES
This fall, Miley Cyrus returned to music three years after releasing her last full-length studio album. “Bangerz” debuted at number one on Billboard’s 200 chart with 270,000 copies sold in its first week. As her first release on her new record label, RCA Records, Miley enlisted the help of producer Mike Will to create a new hip-hop/pop sound that would unexpectedly describe her different approach to music perfectly. “Adore You” is the opening song off the album and is also the most mellow of the 13 tracks. It has a soft bass beat along with a piano backtrack. Miley makes sure to show off her vocal range right from the start with this song.
As one of the biggest songs of the summer, “We Can’t Stop” became Miley’s biggest hit to date. The song infuses a chill-out-let’s-party sort of vibe. It’s the perfect song to jam out to with your friends because it is all about have a great time. Despite receiving controversial reviews for the drug-referencing line, “dancing with molly,” the song became a commercial success and hit number one on the iTunes chart the same day it was released.
Miley reached out to have Gwen Stefani featured on “SMS (Bangerz),” but unfortunately was unsuccessful. She then reached out to Britney Spears who agreed to be featured on the song. “SMS” is a fast-paced song with Miley and Britney both singing “I be struttin my stuff.” The song empowers self-confidence and independence while maintaining a radio-friendly beat.
“4X4” brings out the southern side of Miley as it incorporates a country sound infused with hip-hop beats. She was able to get Nelly to rap a verse on the song, which seems somewhat awkward, but it kind of works.
Cyrus enlisted the help of Future for “My Darlin’.” The song is a great example of Miley’s new sound as she aims for a more hip-hop vibe on the track.
The video for “Wrecking Ball” has been parodied countless times on social media sites, but that does not stop the song from living up to its name. The power ballad is one of Miley’s best songs on the album as she sings about the destruction of love and heartbreak. The song’s success pushed her to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Miley her first number one song in the country.
The upbeat tempo for “Love, Money, Party” works great for the rap track. Though she is not an accredited rap superstar just yet, Miley definitely gives experienced rappers a run for their money on this song.
“#GETITRIGHT” is the most under-produced song on Bangerz, but it works because the track does not call for any additives. It sounds like the vocals were recorded in one take because they are not as perfected as on other tracks, but the carefree lyrics give it the extra “umph” it needs.
The backing track of “Drive” gives the song a darker sound that the rest of the album. It goes hand in hand with the lyrics as Cyrus sings of being let down in a relationship she invested herself into.
The song “FU” with French Montana is probably not supposed to have any sort of comedic effects, but for some reason it has a subtle humor within the lyrics: “I got two letters for you; One of them’s F and the other one’s U.”
Miley continues the comedic tracks with “Do My Thang,” but this time it is for the wrong reasons. It is always uncomfortable hearing a Disney Channel alumni use vulvar language, so listening to Miley use lyrics like, “mind your bidness, stay in your lane, bitch” is like watching her grind up on a 36-year-old married man while wearing a nude-colored latex bikini. Oh wait…
“Maybe You’re Right” quickly changes the tempo of the album as it brings back Miley’s emotional lyrics about accepting her flaws in a relationship.
“Bangerz” ends on a strong note as “Someone Else” closes out the standard edition of the album. Cyrus seems to be straining her voice to hit those high notes in the track, but the song as a whole gives the EP an excellent ending.
Overall, “Bangerz” was a success in stripping Miley of her previous tween image (no pun intended). Her new hip-hop take on music is a definite change from her earlier pop-infused songs, but she makes sure that her new sound embodies her new outlook on her music career.