Miley Cyrus’ music career has undoubtedly been a tumultuous one. From her teen-idol days on Disney Channel, to her jarring image-changing album “Bangerz,” Cyrus is no stranger to making drastic stylistic changes.
Cyrus’ newest album “Younger Now” was released on Sept. 29, and it is supposedly a return to the singer’s roots with its country-pop swing. You could call her album a regression. You could call her album a revival.
But after listening for the first time, I could only call her album one thing: boring. The very first song on the album, the titular “Younger Now” begins with fifteen long seconds of ambient noise – Water rushing? Foot steps? – and then commences with a slow, long guitar strumming before Cyrus’ voice comes on, echoing and slightly muffled, as if she is singing from a faraway land.
Even after the beat picks up in “Younger Now,” Cyrus’ long, drawn-out phrases simply causes one to lose focus – then passes the chorus, and before I knew it, I was back at the second verse without a single notion of what Cyrus had been singing about.
Moving on to the fourth track of the album, “Week Without You,” I did find my interest sparked a little more. The introduction to “Week Without You” sounds as if it comes straight from a Disney movie. Then, the bass drops, Cyrus’ low, throaty voice comes on and I find myself nodding to the beat, expecting some exciting breakthrough in the song.
But it never comes. Cyrus maintains her moody swing throughout the chorus, backed-up by some more powerful instrumentals – and then, again, she returns to the verses and my anticipations plummet to a point as low as Cyrus’ voice.
Skip ahead two more songs to track number six, “I Would Die For You.” Cyrus already begins on a weak note with an overused, weightless lyric: “You / are everything to me / and I / I would die for you.”
And, my attention wanes again.
However, I do want to make clear that Cyrus’ album does not sound bad, as in discordant or cacophonous, in any way. Her talent as a singer is evident in her mature, refined voice. Her melodies are pleasant, but not striking. I might listen to some of her songs when casually shuffling through my music library, but I might not actively seek to listen to “Younger Now.”
That said, if you are looking for some nice, slow, gentle music to listen to in the car or while doing your homework, go ahead and give “Younger Now” a try. Just don’t expect to be too amazed, or shocked, or impressed.
Story by Elizabeth Guo
Photo courtesy of RCA Records