Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bangerz | Miley Cyrus

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Miley Cyrus has had a long year so far: she's been sticking her tongue in all the wrong places, twerking her booty on everything known to man, and swinging naked on construction equipment, but now Smilers will have something else to be happy about when Bangerz drops October 8.

Bangerz opens on a strong but slow start. "Adore You" is a ballad track highlighting Cyrus' voice. The lyrics aren't exactly exemplary, with Cyrus excessively overusing the words "baby" and "love," but the song as a whole is a soothing listen.

"Adore You" ends and the infectious "We Can't Stop" picks up where it left off, finally kick-starting the sound that Bangerz was named for. I have already reviewed the song, and I'm sure everyone has already heard the song before, so I'm not going to ramble on about it here.

Britney Spears is one of the many artists to make a cameo appearance on Bangerz, singing a verse in the track that the album's title was derived from: "SMS (Bangerz)." In all reality, the song is actually really stupid, but then again it is too infectious to ignore. It's like a Nicki Minaj song: you don't want to like it, but the chorus is irresistible and you have to like it anyway.

The song implements a sing-rap style that is often used by Ke$ha, and most recently by Spears in her latest single, "Work Bitch." A lot of the vocal lines in the chorus have been edited and layered, but the lyrics I've been able to get out of it were "I'll be strutting my stuff / Bangerz, bangerz." I didn't say it was the most complex song, I said it was catchy. (Shut up, I know you're judging me right now but I'm going to be strutting my stuff and jamming out to this song for a while.)

Even after listening to the entire album thanks to the free iTunes stream, I can confirm that "Wrecking Ball," the second single from the album, is the best song from the album, hands down. The production, the vocals, the lyrics... They're the best that Bangerz can offer. Some of the songs come really close to matching the quality of "Wrecking Ball," but each one of them fell flat in one category or another.

The video isn't that bad, either. The most people can ever comment on about it is how she's naked... Personally, I don't think this is a trashy way of conveying herself. The MTV Video Music Awards performance? Most definitely trashy, but the way she maintained herself in the "Wrecking Ball" video was not nearly as bad. The only thing that threw me off was the licking of the hammer... which I didn't really understand... at all.

Now, a problem I've noticed... What in the hell is "4x4" supposed to be? It carries a foot-stamping, knee-slapping beat with lyrics that would be appropriate for a bitchy bluegrass singer, not the new gangster Miley Cyrus. It completely switches gears, forcing Cyrus back into that country-girl image that she had tried to stray away from with a lot of the other songs on Bangerz. What are you trying to convey to us, Miley? That you're still a country girl but you like to do drugs and twerk in the inner city now, too? Because that's what I'm getting out of it.

One thing that stuck through the entire album that irritated me immensely, you may ask? Well, every single song produced by Mike WiLL Made It had to be orally watermarked by Cyrus with the uttering of his name somewhere in the song. Listen, it's cute in a song or two, but not all of them. There comes a point when it just becomes irritating, and Mike WiLL Made It reached that threshold quickly. We get it; you produced a lot of the songs. Having your names credited in the album booklet should be good enough to you, buddy.

When looking over our three grown-up Disney girls in a musical aspect, Cyrus is stuck in the middle of her peers. Bangerz may not have lived up to Selena Gomez's Stars Dance, but at least it was a bit more creative than DEMI. I've got to give Cyrus credit; she did try to go a bit outside of her previous safety zones. Some of the songs fell flat on their faces, but other ones actually came out as average pop anthems.

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