Miley Cyrus’ highly anticipated record BANGERZ hits stores October 8th, but it’s not what her career thus far would leave you to expect it to be. Her past albums, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, Breakout, and Can’t Be Tamed have all been solid pop music albums. She sang about topics such as love, betrayal, and growing up. BANGERZ is an R&B/hip-hop record, with the majority of the songs focusing on having sex, getting high off of various drugs, and, well, twerking.
The album starts off with the slow but not impressive Adore You, with lyrics a 10-year-old could have written about their one-week-long crush. The second track, We Can’t Stop, which I have already complained about plenty on the single review, brings the album down even lower. Not only are the lyrics a failure, but they are about “getting lines in the bathroom” and “shaking it like we at a strip club”. (Can you believe people were complaining about Can’t Be Tamed being “too provocative”?) The highly awaited SMS (Bangerz) featuring fellow pop star Britney Spears improves slightly — at least in the parts when Cyrus isn’t rapping — because it does have some good pop elements mixed in. Spears’ part even switches between rap-like and pop lines. This is the first explicit track on the album out of six, which Cyrus has not done before. 4×4 featuring Nelly, the second explicit track, is just so silly sounding it’s hard to know what to think. It sounds like The Wheels On the Bus remade for a circus with a country/hip-hop tone.
My Darlin’ featuring Future is another slower song. The song has several duet verses and choruses but you can’t understand what either one is saying due to their singing not being in sync. Future’s parts sound just like Kanye West’s Hold My Liquor. Track six is where the album peaks and Cyrus’ true talent appears. Wrecking Ball is a beautifully sung and written power ballad. It has the best writing and vocals in the whole album by far. Clearly her inspiration for this song was much deeper than any of the other tracks. Unfortunately, the wonderful song ends and we return to the shallow lyrics in the third explicit track of the album, Love Money Party featuring Big Sean, which is a really bad rap. And I don’t just mean that I don’t like rap, the rapping itself is terrible. It’s like it’s not really rap, but it is, and it’s terrible. #GETITRIGHT, the fourth explicit track, isn’t nearly as bad as the previous tracks, but it’s still nothing special. At most, it is mediocre. It’s like an okay Bruno Mars song done by a female.
Drive is the second best song on BANGERZ. Although it’s not perfect, Cyrus displays her marvelous vocal range in the chorus of Drive, making it worth listening to. FU featuring French Montana, the fifth explicit song, drives things right back down. FU sounds like a song that would be performed in a really campy live theatre performance. The sixth and final of the explicit tracks, Do My Thang, starts with a poppy-country vibe, which isn’t so bad, but a few seconds into the song it turns into gangster rap song. When Cyrus raps, “Bang bang / Imma shoot ’em down baby,” and so on, and I just think, “what happened to her? Why is she a thug now?” Maybe You’re Right has a slower beat and better lyrics than most of the other tracks, making it the third best on the album. Unfortunately, with not a lot of good tracks to choose from, it’s not hard to be the third best.
Someone Else is more pop than a lot of the songs and has all right lyrics, but the song’s pacing from super fast to pausing in between each word doesn’t work, it’s just awkward. The deluxe track, Rooting for My Baby definitely takes a better turn and should have been a standard track instead of one of the many awful tracks this far in. It’s a beautiful ballad — not as beautiful as Wrecking Ball, but it is a solid song. On My Own is a Michael Jackson-esque song, also more worthy of being a standard track than most of the previous songs. Finally, Hands in the Air is the worst of the deluxe tracks, but not a bad song. Ludacris’ part takes away from the good sound the song was achieving.
BANGERZ is Miley Cyrus’ worst and only bad album to date. Skip this one and save your money for her next pop album.
Songs to buy: Wrecking Ball, Drive, Maybe You’re Right, Rooting for My Baby, On My Own
Songs to skip: Everything else
out of four.