Cyrus Gets Serious With 'Bangerz,' Shedding Disney Channel Image
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 21:10
Ever since Disney Channel aired its last episode of Hannah Montana back in 2011, Miley Cyrus has been slowly but surely trying to shed off the bubbly, innocent image of her TV character. America may still be getting used to her new Pilates body, buzz cut, and wardrobe, but one thing is for certain with her new album, Bangerz: the old Miley is not coming back.
Based on her previous albums, Breakout (2008) and Can’t Be Tamed (2010), Miley indisputably belonged to the pop genre. Her hit singles—“Party in the U.S.A.,” “7 Things,” “See You Again,” and “Can’t Be Tamed”—had the usual beats and choruses of pop songs. Bangerz, however, falls into a different category that is a combination of pop, country, hip-hop, R&B, and Motown. This new genre Miley has created is odd and different, and this description may be exactly what she wants people to think of when they listen to her album. Miley wants to be different, and she’s not holding back.
While Bangerz is glazed overall with the young and carefree attitude that Miley has always portrayed throughout her career, the album is a complete break from her days performing as Hannah Montana on her Best of Both Worlds Tour. Her new songs are bound to shock, confuse, and entertain America, and best of all, they’re catchy. With “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop” at No. 3 and No. 7 on iTunes Top Songs, be prepared to listen to much more of Miley Cyrus on the radio for the next several months.
The first track, “Adore You,” is a relatively calmer song compared to the rest of the album and contains more of Miley’s music style from her previous albums. As she sings, “When you say you love me / Know I love you more / When you say you need me / Know I need you more / Boy, I adore you,” it is clear that Miley’s voice has grown into a more mature sound with more fullness and depth. Even the haters can’t deny that Miley has a solid singing voice without the teenage, nasally voice that once overwhelmed her songs.
The first track deceives, however, for the mood quickly transitions into a jumble of slurred words, quasi-rap, angry lyrics, and f-bombs that are almost too much to take in, as most likely no one expected such a sudden change in Miley’s work. Only Miley herself can explain who or what influenced her to include these new elements uncharacteristic of her previous work into Bangerz, but one thing is clear—Miley is good-girl-gone-bad. “Love Money Party (feat. Big Sean)” and “Do My Thang” epitomize these changes in her music, as she sings with her usual Southern accent, but there is a hint of Miley trying to have the voice of a rap or R&B singer as she sings “Bang bang, Imma shoot ‘em down baby.” The result is an interesting combination that is neither southern nor rap nor R&B—it’s simply the new Miley.
Other artists who have also collaborated with Miley on her album are Britney Spears, Nelly, Future, French Montana, and Ludacris. “FU (feat. French Montana)” is one of the catchier songs filled with anger and bitterness that Miley feels toward Liam Hemsworth, her ex-boyfriend with whom she had an on-again, off-again relationship. The beginning of the song is similar to that of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” as Miley’s voice enters the song at full speed. Fueled by emotion, Miley shows off her true vocal talents in this song as she reaches the high notes without nearly shouting like she once did.
Bangerz is proof that Miley has the potential to blossom into a new artist unassociated with Hannah Montana. She took a risk by drastically changing her style of music, but it was a risk that allowed her to showcase her diverse abilities as an artist. While she may like to have a little too much fun twerking, Miley is a serious artist with a bright future ahead of her.