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Album review/analysis: Miley Cyrus, 'Bangerz'

October 08, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ErnestWilkins

I’ve written this analysis twice already. The first time was a complete hatchet job, complete with eye-rolls and WTFs, admittedly without fully processing the album and after only two full listens. It included the phrase “cultural gentrification.” The second was more of a “Holy [bleep], this doesn’t suck, but maybe YOU do for not understanding it” that was mildly spurred to drum up conversation, thus raising my public profile and getting me one step closer to having an apartment that actually has a dishwasher.

This is No. 3.

So what about the cultural touchstone that is “Bangerz,” the fourth full-length release from Ms. Miley Cyrus?

As a pure musical composition:

You aren’t going to get much from it. From a roster of wasted guest appearances, (Britney Spears, Nelly—Future even sings “Stand By Me” for chrissakes) to Cyrus flipping her voice to croon, belt and ... well, rap I guess, “Bangerz” is a pop album. You won’t gain clarity about your own existence after a few listens? It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just there. 

As a personal examination:

There are powerful-yet-empty declarations of long lasting love (the first track “Adore You” might as well be a recording of that time you got drunk and embarrassed your significant other at his/her birthday party by loudly proclaiming you’re going to be together forever). There’s a cautious toe-dip into her own sexuality and, you know, admitting that you kinda just want to bone sometimes (the poorly named “#GETITRIGHT”). Overall, “Bangerz” is Miley’s ode to casting off a previous identity and creating a new one. It represents a conscious, deep dive into the concept of rebellion by a sometimes-annoying child of privilege, the audio equivalent of a Thought Catalog essay. 

So to recap, “Bangerz” is:

—Not bad! :)

—Filled with a few good songs—“Wrecking Ball” being the best one

—Not particularly interesting

—ADD as hell

—A 2013 album that has both Britney Spears and Nelly on it

— An all-too-true Millennial experience

(If you need a review rating, it's a ** out of 4)

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