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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now Review

For a long time, Miley Cyrus has been trying to discover her musical identity. There was a time when it seemed that she would go back into the family business, but then she released Bangerz, her popsplosion album and things changed. She did a number of 2012 covers that were released in a video series titled the Backyard Sessions and they were rather sultry and deep-voiced. When doing ‘Lilac Wine’, she was able to bring about the romantic drama associated with Jeff Buckley and explored the vocal timbres of Nina Simone rather sinuously, as both of them had performed the song once.

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However, Miley really showed everyone that she did understand the nuances of her father, Billy Ray’s music as well as that of Dolly Parton’s, her godmother, when she did her own take on ‘Jolene’.

For a time it seemed that these little studies would help her in navigating the slick pop-country in a much better way. But, then began early 2013 and what marked as her lewd ‘n’ twisted era. She did twerking impressions, crotch-grinded Robin Thicke and even did topless photoshoots with Terry Richardson.

She concocted a 23-track album called Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz with Wayne Coyne, the frontman of Flaming Lips. It was a self-indulgence fueled by drugs that included cameos from Ariel Pink and Big Sean. But, now it seems that Miley is over that phase and into the mature post-neon phase as she released her latest album called Younger Now.

The album is supposed to provide us with a real idea of who Miley Cyrus is, but instead of doing so, it merely hints at what she could be. Younger Now fails to make a statement and blends country and pop-rock fare in a very restrained manner.

Get Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now Here: MP3 and Audio CD

The album has been produced so thinly that it seems Miley’s goofy and lovable personality has been crushed in the process. Even before she had said goodbye to her Ratchet phase, Miley had given hints about the kind of performer she would be.

She portrayed a self-assured and confident popstar with her cover of ’50 Ways to Leave your Lover’ by Paul Simon. But, in her first single after she got back together with Liam Hemsworth and gave up the bong, Miley only gives us a glimpse of the lifelessness to expect.

‘Malibu’ is supposed to be an expression of reconciliation, but it is too pappy and breezy to evoke a sense of passion in the listeners, which is something Miley can do really well. She remains uninspired in ‘Rainbowland’, which is her collaboration with Dolly Parton. This doesn’t mean that there are no bright spots in the album.

She experiments with the depth of her voice in ‘I Would Die for You’ and this quiet track is the least soupy due to its percussion. Her strongest performance is in ‘Miss you so Much’ where the mourning and power in her voice steals the show.

Even though the song was about a boyfriend of her close friend who died of overdose, Cyrus recorded in on the day she hung out with her grandmother. Even though the album is loaded with limp deliveries, her connection to the transcendent spirit of grief and love in this song are very real.

Nevertheless, even though her new album has some of these good moments, it is difficult to find this Miley a force to be reckoned with. Her abandonment of rap culture and music become immensely evident through the odd country song ‘Bad Mood’ and the arrangements of thoughtless horns and strings and forgettable ballads that end the album. There is precious little to be seen of Miley Cyrus in this album and she needs to dig deep to reinvent herself.

Get Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now Here: MP3 and Audio CD

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