sun 17/12/2017

CD: Miley Cyrus - Younger Now | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Miley Cyrus - Younger Now

CD: Miley Cyrus - Younger Now

With the hype subsiding, the former child star seems to be going back to her roots

Is career longevity beckoning for Miley?

When Miley Cyrus released the deliriously patchy Bangerz in 2013 she was as over-exposed as any pop star has ever been, as I subtly pointed out at the time. Far less so now. Her only album in the interim has been a slightly tedious, flung-out drug folly of a Flaming Lips collaboration in 2015. Other than that, she's steadily edged away from the limelight, meaning this record arrives with less fuss and kerfuffle than more or less anything she's done since her very beginnings as the child star of Disney's Hannah Montana.

And it's all the better for it. My first reaction on seeing the title was “surely that isn't... a Dylan reference?” And in fact it could very well be: this is essentially a country pop album, with some distinct retro touches. This isn't the bang-pow over-produced stadium line-dance country Miley's dad Billy Ray dealt in, in fact it's a surprisingly subtle thing. It ranges from the borderline-hokey-but-actually-very-sweet “Rainbowland” featuring Miley's godmother Dolly Parton in a plea for togetherness, to Tegan & Sara style alt-rock, to straight-up pop with guitars.

If the sprawling Bangerz was a ridiculous rollercoaster of brilliance and appallingness, this concise album is a steady cruise, with neither the highs nor the lows, but plenty to enjoy. Miley's voice, which sounded prematurely aged four years ago, now simply sounds mature, and where the lyrics were full of shock tactics before, now they're classic narratives of love, friendship, loss, and all the other things country songs should be about. Impressively, every songwriting credit is entirely to her, bar three co-writes with producer Oren Yoel and the Parton collab. In 2014 I suggested the soft rock elements of Bangerz suggested that Miley could easily settle into becoming the next P!nk. This is not a million miles from that, but it's significantly more individualist and interesting, and suggests that not only is she destined for career longevity, but has a voice entirely of her own to explore for a long time to come.

If the sprawling Bangerz was a ridiculous rollercoaster of brilliance and appallingness, this concise album is a steady cruise

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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