Daniel O’Brien reviews Miley Cyrus’ new album “Younger Now.”
The release of Miley Cyrus’ sixth studio album Younger Now is something of a U-Turn for the artist. Since her drastic image change back in 2013, Miley’s projects have been heavily reliant on her “bad girl” persona. In particular, her embrace of hip-hop culture and her numerous and often cringe-inducing drug references. However, Younger Now’s pre-release singles shared none of these traits, and signalled a new focus on softer, more lyrically driven ballads. The album is something of an apology tour for the last four years of Miley’s career.
This is an interesting strategy, but one that makes for an incredibly boring listen. The lack of any sort of fresh musical ideas here is almost impressive, as Miley plays it safe with a collection of breezy country-pop songs, each as bewilderingly forgettable as the last. The problem with stripping down her sound is that without all the gimmicks and distractions Miley’s flaws as a songwriter become much more obvious. On tracks like the lead single ‘Malibu’ and the deep-feigning ‘Inspired,’ her lyrics are vague and lifeless. Disappointingly, everything here gives the impression of someone who is trying their hardest, but who really doesn’t have anything to say.
In a nutshell: Miley’s new album focuses in on her skills as a singer-songwriter; a fine idea but one that fails almost immediately due to the sheer blandness of the project.