Illustration by Paul Vera-Brodbent
Illustration by Paul Vera-Brodbent

Right now, is there any singer more talked about than Miley Cyrus? Along with her new look she debuted last year, Cyrus  came with a defiant persona that has fascinated and bewildered people all at once. Thanks to her, wrecking balls, foam fingers, and hammers will never be looked at the same. It’s clear Cyrus was determined to shake off the last remnants of Hannah Montana, and that her new album “Bangerz” was the final step in cementing her pop star evolution. So was “Bangerz” a train wreck or, dare i even say it, actually good?

 Let’s start with the good parts.

While “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop” are hands down the best songs on the album, it still has plenty of other gems to offer. In “Adore You”, Cyrus decided to remind us of her soft side by getting a little soulful and deep about love. This ballad is a nice surprise and shows not everything about Cyrus has to be over the top. It definitely grows on you after a few listens. Before you know it, you find yourself singing along to the chorus. Listen to it to feel all warm and fuzzy about love (or slightly less jaded about it).

Another highlight is “Get It Right”, which is all about exuding Cyrus’s sexuality. Produced by Pharrell, his signature slick beats are all over this flirty and undeniably fun song, and the whistling adds a nice touch. Lastly,

“Do My Thang” stood out for its pure ridiculousness that somehow works in the weirdest way. It is a guilty pleasure song to listen to when you want to pretend for a few minutes that you are the most badass rebel to have ever lived.

 Amongst all the good, there’s is the still the bad. I had high hopes for SMS (Bangerz). After all, it featured the one and only Britney Spears who always serves up some good pop songs. However, this song crashes and burns right from the start. With its sloppy composition, it just falls flat right on its face. It tries to be too many things at once. At one point in the song, Cyrus even attempts to rap like Nicki Minaj (now is the time to let go of that dream).

After listening to this song, I thought it surely must be the worse of the bunch. I was wrong, so wrong. Cue in “4×4”. I’m still trying to make sense of what my ears were just exposed to. Let’s just say you would never expect a collaboration with Nelly and Pharrell to turn into a country, hip hop hoedown where Cyrus proclaims “Driving so fast ‘bout to piss on myself”. There are some definite Cotton Eyed Joe vibes. I’m guessing this song must be an inside joke or the result of a lost bet because it is a hilarious, hot mess.

 So overall “Bangerz” is a mixed bag. Is it worth purchasing? No, but it was still a solid effort from Cyrus. It was an adventure to listen to since each track was very different from the next. Underneath all of the stunts she’s been doing lately, this album shows there is potential for Cyrus to go beyond the “shock and awe” act. Whatever direction she decides to go next, one thing is for certain: it’ll be entertaining to watch.