Remember we were all a bit worried about Miley Cyrus?
In 2014 young Miley was dragging the ‘Bangerz’ tour all around the world, seizing every opportunity along the way to showcase her sexual awakening. From waving a glittery gold dildo in a dwarf’s face to shooting pyro from a phallus fastened to her Barbarella style silver swimsuit. If she wasn’t swinging a blow-up doll around by the mickey she was miming cunnilingus on any gap wide enough to fit two playing cards through.
It was a globally ostentatious display of salaciousness serving as a stiff middle finger to her clean-cut, apple pie image. Twerking was her gift to the world.
Fast forward three years, Miley is on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon performing a Dido song with Adam Sandler. Draped in a rhinestone image of Elvis she gives a conscientious, heartfelt speech on fear and freedom in America in light of the horrific gun attack in Las Vegas. She’s mature, genuine and naturally beautiful.
The same could be said of her latest record Younger Now. Clipped at eleven tracks, it’s a concise collection that should enforce Cyrus’ status as a mainstream pop star following the slight wobble of the off-kilter, bloated Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.
Full of well written songs leaning a little more towards her country roots – there’s even a little pre-duet, segment of a recorded phone call from Dolly Parton – Younger Now really showcases just how good Miley’s voice is. She’s one of those singers whose tone is unique and immediately recognisable, full of attitude and emotion. The title track and ‘Malibu’ provide a notably strong start to the record and there aren’t too many dips from then on.
‘I Would Die For You’ opens with echoes of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’. It’s that slightly unexpected phrasing in the song writing and the vocals that makes this record stand out as more than just a middle-of-the-road pop record from a big name. Left of centre themes like depression, obsession and over indulgence lend even more weight to the compositions.
The fact that most of the songs were penned by Cyrus herself with some help from producer Oren Yoel is another feather in her cap. Simply structured, embellished with her own personal idiosyncrasies. Apart from the odd lyrical cliché and one or two more mentions of rainbows than is preferable Younger Now is a really strong set of pop songs, veering into almost edgy territory at times.
You’ll enjoy the new Miley Cyrus record. Really. You will.