On September 29th Miley Cyrus released her sixth album, ‘Younger Now’. This album was arguably just as shocking as her extremely controversial ‘Bangerz’ album of 2013, with the singer song-writer reinventing herself once again. However, this time it was for the better, with Miley leaving behind her infamous dancing and returning to her country roots (being daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus). It ironically feels like Hannah Montana The Movie all over again, in which the popstar must decide whether to give up her fame for her Tennessee family.
“She explains the old her is ‘not who I am'”
The album’s opening track ‘Younger Now’ tries to reconcile and explain the multitude of Miley Cyrus’ the world has seen since she finished her main role as Hannah Montana all the way back in 2011. She explains the old her is ‘not who I am’, but is someone who she is ‘not afraid of’. Perhaps hinting to listeners that she has finally found who and what she wants to be, leaving behind the twerking and tongue-crazy icon she used to be (to the relief of thousands of mothers of teenage daughters). The song is half rock and half pop in its sounds, with a slight edge provided by her harsh voice throughout.
The album’s title track is undoubtedly one of the best songs on the album, but I feel ‘Malibu’ is catchier in its lyrics and gentler in its tone. This song became her ninth top-ten entry to the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at a very impressive number ten, and focused exclusively on Cyrus’ fiancé, Liam Hemsworth, who she recently became engaged to (again) following their break up in 2013. The song is more popular in the way it appeals to the romantics out there, with Hemsworth undoubtedly helping her find herself.
“We again see a refreshing and more ‘real’ interpretation of Cyrus”
Perhaps more country-like are her songs, ‘Miss You So Much’ and ‘She’s Not Him’. These two emotionally charged songs have a very rustic feel, whilst ‘Bad Mood’ plays on these folk conventions but with a slight Tejano feel. This folk and country feel comes naturally to Miley Cyrus, with her father being the singer of the famous ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ song, Billy Ray Cyrus, whilst her godmother is Dolly Parton. Parton collaborates (and co-wrote) the album’s third song, ‘Rainbowland’, the only song that includes voice-mails between the pair, with Parton saying she would sing over the song and then send this recording to Miley in CD form. The recordings have not been confirmed as genuine but considering the singers’ close relationship it isn’t hard to accept their legitimacy. Hence, like ‘Malibu’, Cyrus devotes another song on her album to someone she is close to, again marking a change from her ‘Bangerz’ album where she collaborated with celebs Britney Spears and Big Sean. Hence, we again see a refreshing and more ‘real’ interpretation of Cyrus.
‘Younger Now’ is one of Miley Cyrus’ best (if not her best) album yet. It works in the way we see the real Miley in songs that express her true self and in which her voice works best. This Miley Cyrus is a version of herself that we hope will stay for a while longer.
Image Courtesy of The Guardian.