I received Miley Cyrus’ latest album, “Bangerz,” as a joke birthday gift from my boyfriend. I was pretty surprised (and only somewhat ashamed) that I didn’t entirely hate it when I finally realized it had passed its return period and I might as well give it a listen.
I’m not going to lie to you–“Party in the USA,” one of Cyrus’ older hits, was totally my jam. It still is. But I’ve never been a Cyrus fan.
When I started listening to “Bangerz,” I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was familiar with her singles, “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” and I had mixed feelings on both.
Mixed feelings pretty accurately sum up my feelings about this album. There were a handful of surprisingly good songs–“4×4,” “My Darlin’” and “Maybe You’re Right,” to name a few.
I enjoyed the rockabilly tone of “4×4,” and I thought Cyrus’ choice to sample the classic “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King in “My Darlin’” was spot on.
“Maybe You’re Right” was poignant and pretty. It’s always nice to be reminded that Cyrus actually has a good singing voice. It’s easy to forget that she’s talented, but this song makes that fact indisputable.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have almost every other song from this album.
At first, I thought I was going to love the song “FU.” It has a funky, angry blues vibe. But then Cyrus says, “LOL.” And I can’t condone verbal usage of text-speak.
If you are the type of kind and forgiving soul who can overlook such a horrendous faux pas, it’s not a bad song. Even if you can’t abide this behavior, it’s far from the worst song on the album. In fact, if you plug your ears when she speaks in texting acronyms, it’s pretty good.
The absolute worst song on the album is “Do My Thang.” It’s ridiculously unimaginative–the chorus is almost exclusively made up of attempts to rhyme the word “here” with itself. The music itself jumps from an upbeat club/dance feel to a weird, slowed down percussion-only beat followed by some pretty bad rapping.
It is closely followed by “SMS (Bangerz),” which I can only assume is Cyrus’ idea of a joke. I refuse to believe anyone could have thought any part of that song was a good idea.
This album left me feeling confused and a little bit sad. If some of the songs were so good, why were the rest so very, very bad?
Why did everything fall so far to either end of the spectrum?
Instead of finding my next “Party in the USA,” I was left with only a few decent songs and a vague feeling that I needed to go take a shower.
2.5 out of 5 stars.