I decided to take one for the team and review Miley Cyrus’s fourth album, Bangerz. Bangerz with a ‘z’, because she’s edgy and appropriating ghetto culture now. (In other news, Miley Cyrus has released three other albums?! Overachiever.)
The overall album rating will be determined by how many of the songs I find myself enjoying and/or unable to get out of my head. And it’ll be a star rating out of 16, because I downloaded the ‘Deluxe Version’, bitches. Sorry – bitchez.
Let’s do this, track by track.
Miley cleverly opens with a track that will make you feel sorry for her. It’s a romantic ballad of sorts, and one that is clearly about ex-fiance Liam Hemsworth. “I could do this for eternity, you and me,” Miley croons. “We're meant to be in holy matrimony.” Until that Wrecking Ball came along, clearly.
I’m a giant sucker and found myself getting QUITE EMOTIONAL when Liam and Miley called it quits, and putting aside the autotune (heads up: it’s a major player on this album), I found this song is quite lovely. Thumbs up.
We Can’t Stop
I cannot listen to this goddamn song one more time, so I am skipping. Thumbs down.
Instead, you might like to listen to this version:
Or this one:
Miley Cyrus feat. Britney Spears – sampling Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It. SRSLY GURL, if you’re going to sample Salt-n-Pepa you better make your song worthwhile.
Most of this song is incomprehensible, and I’m an old person, so that turned me right off. People who like to do young people activities like dancing in clubs may enjoy this. I don’t know, go ask one of them.
Holy shit, Nelly is in this song! Holy shit, Nelly still exists!
This is the kind of song one might expect to hear played at a hoedown. And if that sounds like a slur, it’s not –it’s hand-clappin’ foot-stompin’ rootin’-tootin’ fun. Miley gives us a taste of Tennessee, and leaves you wanting more. I predict a big future for Miley in county music, once she tires of licking sledgehammers.
Strange, but delightful at the same time. Thumbs up.
Another ‘feat’, with time with Future. The first time I listened to My Darlin’ I thought it was pretty tedious and kind of glossed over it, but it’s grown on me. You know what they say, familiarity breeds a comforting type of contempt. Basically it’s just a lot of the "Oh, my darlin'/ Stand by me" from the Ben E. King tune repeated over and over again, but it’s nice and repetitive like a lullaby.
That sounds harsh, but thumbs up. Really.
I became a bit obsessed with this song when it was first released. I would even defend the artistry of the film clip, if I had to. And it goes without saying that I would defend to the death Miley Cyrus’ right to not wear a bar, because how about we stop dictating what young women can and cannot wear, amiright?!
Wrecking Ball is a clear standout on the album. Vulnerable and emotionally raw. Thumbs up.
Love Money Party (feat. Big Sean)
This one is a bit country-meets-hip-hop, and it sucks balls. Or ballz. Or bangerz, whatever your derogatory slur about sucking of choice is. Honestly, there’s just too much of Miley trying to rap.
It’s basically just the same themes seen previously in “We Can’t Stop”, but MORE. MILEY WANTS MORE. "Love, money, party/ Love, money, party/ We want love, money, party,” Miley awkwardly sings/raps.
I do not dig. Thumbs down.
It has a fairly prominent hashtag title, just like all those #THICKEs seen in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines – which makes sense, as Pharrell produced both these ditties. While #GETITRIGHT deals less with questioning the consent of a woman, it’s still not great.
It’s a summery, 70s throwback, with hand clapping and whistling to boot – but I feel like it lacks substance.
Because I assume people will be interested in knowing this, this is also the song where Miley sings: “Would you believe I’m dancing in the mirror?/I feel like I got no panties on.” And, “I feel the thirst pouring out of me.”
Thumbs down – not for the lyrics, just for the blandness and no wackness.
Allegedly the song that Cyrus wrote on Valentine’s Day, when she realised her relationship with Liam Hemsworth was no longer working. OoooOOOoooohhhh!
The track starts with edgy, sad synth stuff going on – and I’m already hooked. This song feels personal and not at all forced (unlike, you know, whenever Miley tries to rap). The production is a bit zig-zaggy, but I like the anger and emotion. “You told me that you wanted this/ I told you it was all yours/ If you're done with it/ Then what you say forever for?”
Thumbs up, Miley. Take a note from Taylor’s playbook and write more break-up songs – they suit you.
FU feat. French Montana
In another unexpected stylistic departure (first country, then hip-hop, now THIS) Miley does a cabaret, Broadway, Lady Gaga-esque number. It’s another track where instead of just singing about dancing and lines and money, Miley lets a little real emotion through. “I got two letters for you/ One of them is F/ And the other one is U,” Miley snarls.
Thumbs up, big time.
Do My Thang
And after just saying that I like it when Miley doesn’t sing about dancing and lines and money and doing whatever the hells she likes ‘cause she’s so grown-up now – this song centres entirely around those themes. Plus, there’s more awkward rapping from Miley.
“Every single night and every single day/ I'mma do my thing, I'mma do my thing/ So don't you worry about me I'll be okay/ I'mma do my thing, cause I'mma do my thing,” Miley sings. Yawn, I get it already.
Maybe You’re Right
This is definitely the most lyrically interesting song on the album, in that Miley actually uses her words to tell a story – and even admits that she’s not perfect. Which is fairly refreshing, for a break-up song. "You might think I'm crazy/ That I'm lost and foolish/ Leaving you behind/ Maybe you're right."
There’s a bit of a gospel influence going on, and this song shows that Miley can sing. Like for real real, not for play play. HOWEVER, it’s all a bit too paint-by-numbers and predictable. I’m mostly on the fence, but will have to go with a thumbs down for fear of getting splinters on my behind.
I shouldn’t be so excited about someone else’s suffering, but: another break-up song! Hooray!
“If you’re looking for love/ Know that love don’t live here anymore/ He left with my heart/ They both walked through that door without me,” Miley sings.
There’s still that shimmering synth-pop and hip-hop, but I can actually forgive it this time around. Thumbs up.
Rooting For My Baby
A husky voiced Miley sings about being there for the person you love. It’s a bit Fleetwood Mac-esque – but I don’t feel the need to tell her that she should be doing better in honour of their memory (see: my feelings regarding Salt-n-Pepa on SMS).
Nice and chilled. Thumbs up.
On My Own
Miley Cyrus does Michael Jackson. Another sort of dance floor anthem. It’s not offensive, but it’s not memorable in any particular way. Thumbs… down?
Hands In The Air
Miley raps, and I think we’ve established that I don’t like it when she does that. Thumbs down.
9 out of 16 ain’t bad. It’s more than 50 per cent anyway, and as my favorite adage throughout undergraduate university advised: Ps make degrees.
Bangerz doesn’t really give Miley a chance to show off the fact that she can actually sing, the tracks are teasingly diverse – but also irritatingly inconsistent – and the whole Miley-is-ghetto-now thing feels seriously forced. Or seriouzly forzed.
It’s sporadic and schizophrenic but occasionally damn catchy – so I’m not going to call it the worst album of 2013.
HIGH PRAISE INDEED.
And now, for the song that should've been on the album:
And now, for the song that should've been on the album: