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Cyrus’ album, Bangerz, worthy of consideration

By RACHEL WITKIN | October 10, 2013

Bangerz, Miley Cyrus’s fourth album, was released on Tuesday after months of anticipation that began after she released “We Can’t Stop.” The over-the-top, inappropriate music video about Molly quickly made “We Can’t Stop” the song of the summer.

Cyrus streamed Bangerz on iTunes Radio for free a week early so that her fans could listen to it as often as possible, but, now, it is officially out.

She did a fantastic job promoting her new album and her new, hip-hop and controversial image. She even admitted that her former, more innocent character, Hannah Montana, was “murdered” when she recently hosted Saturday Night Live. In this sense, she forces the public to accept her new persona, as showcased in Bangerz.

Bangerz certainly stands on its own. It was produced by hip-hop experts, including Pharrell and Mike Will Made It, while guest artists, such as Britney Spears, Nelly and French Montana, appear on certain tracks.

The album begins with “Adore You,” a surprisingly mature love song that shows off Cyrus’s voice. She does not stay mellow for long, as she spirals into “We Can’t Stop” and then “Bangerz,” which features Britney Spears.

In “4 X 4,” a song that is closest to her country roots, she tells her audience that she is a “female rebel.”

All of the hype for Bangerz revolved around Miley’s new, provocative hip-hop sound, which pales in comparison to songs like “Wrecking Ball.” “Love Money Party” is merely a conglomeration of repeated words. Similarly, “Bangerz” is disappointing because Britney Spears’s vocals are oddly set in the background.

Although the two pop stars made a sassy track, neither Spears nor Cyrus really sing throughout the song. This is a shame because they both have some of the best voices in the business.

Another drawback is that Bangerz feels disjointed at times, as it goes back and forth between emotional ballads and hip-hop with a little bit of jazz and country mixed in.

In “Wrecking Ball,” the best song on the album, Cyrus actually demonstrates her impressive range and ability to inject emotion into her songs. “FU” does this as well, but French Montana’s arbitrary rapping distracts the listener from Miley’s outstanding, jazzy command of the song.

“FU” feels over-produced, as if Cyrus is working too hard when she does not need to. She really can sing, but she lets the fast beats and electronic vibe overtake her in songs like “FU” and, to an extent, “My Darlin.”

Cyrus sounds her best when she simply sings. Her acoustic version of “We Can’t Stop” on last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live was gorgeous.

However, this album is all about Cyrus, and the point of Bangerz is not to slow down. Rather, it is to ramp the listener up. Each track is different because Cyrus experiments with and attempts to figure out what kind of musician she wants to be. She has such immense promise and has so much going on in each of her songs.

Maybe Cyrus did not want the album to flow, as she keeps throwing something new at us, making it impossible to stop listening.

She fully finds her groove in “Get It Right.” Although it is explicitly about sex, which would have been controversial a few months ago, Cyrus sounds very grown-up and in control. She does not add any stunts or say anything ridiculous in this song.

She mentions her infamous tongue, but the remark is appropriately sensual. “Get It Right” hints towards what Cyrus might be able to sound like a few years from now, where she can just be herself and not have to include any gimmicks.

This adult theme continues into “Maybe I’m Right,” which questions a romantic relationship. It involves her pleading with the subject of the song (and also the audience).

“You might think I’m crazy, lost and foolish, leaving you behind,” she laments.

Each track flows straight into the final, heartbreaking anthem, “Someone Else.”

“I used to believe love conquers all,” Cyrus muses over a pulsing dance beat. Just the thought of Cyrus’s ex-financé, Liam Hemsworth, is devastating.

“Someone Else” is the perfect end to the album because it is the perfect combination of Mike Will Made It’s beats and pop music, which creates a unique sound.

Regardless of what one thinks of Cyrus’s new image and new sound, it is clear that she has grown so much since her last album, Can’t Be Tamed. Bangerz gets better and better with each listen and leaves fans wondering what Cyrus will have up her sleeve in years to come.

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