Miley Cyrus is the living embodiment of a well-formulated “fuck it,” and so is her new album, Bangerz.
Here’s the thing about Bangerz: It isn’t a great album, but it definitely has a few good tracks. Aside from the infectious “We Can’t Stop” and the already contagious “Wrecking Ball,” you shouldn’t expect another “Party in the USA” from Cyrus’ fourth studio album.
Musically, Cyrus is certainly no Beethoven — and she’s never claimed to be — but she is still supremely talented. She shines brightest on tracks such as “Wrecking Ball” and “Adore You,” in which one can hear her voice’s unbelievable power, but is weakest on songs that shy away from a focus on vocals and lean toward a focus on production — “Love Money Party,” “4×4” and “SMS.” These producer-heavy tracks are unimpressive across the board — a big disappointment considering they feature some pretty impressive stars such as Big Sean, Nelly and Britney Spears, respectively.
Beneath the disappointing guest spots and consistently over-the-top production from Mike WiLL Made-It, Bangerz is, at its core, an album created by a grown-up Hannah Montana who has “popped a molly” one too many times and gives one too little fucks about anything. “So don’t you worry about me — I’ll be OK,” Miley raps on “Do My Thang.” “I’ma do my thing, ’cause I’ma do my thing.”
But throughout Bangerz, Cyrus doesn’t find her voice to actually do her own thing. While experimenting with a variety of styles, she fails to display any confidence in what her new persona sounds like, aside from other pop stars. “Adore You” might as well be a slow Rihanna love ballad, and “Maybe You’re Right” is almost another upbeat Katy Perry pop anthem.
The creme de la creme of the new Miley Cyrus can be summed up in the chorus of Bangerz’s worst song, “SMS” (featuring Britney Spears): “I can strut that strut, that strut, that stuff / Fucking bangerz.” Yes, Cyrus’ desire to strut her stuff is on full display throughout Bangerz.