Even though "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" both went platinum, some still believe that only Miley Cyrus' notoriety keeps her afloat. Except, as some have admitted, "Wrecking Ball" isn't a bad ballad. It's mostly just Miley's antics.
Now it all comes down to her album Bangerz: Will it sell, or will the twerk queen wither out? Some of the songs here might seem like standard pop filler, but the bangers rock, and the ballads smash.
"Adore You": opens the album with an euphoria shot that instantly gets you thinking "why can't she can't sing like this more"? The dreamy strings let her words melt, and the lines "God knew exactly what he was doing / When he led me to you" makes one wonder about her religious affiliation.
"We Can't Stop" doesn't need much discussion. Like it or not, its "we run things, things don't run we" attitude accurately defines the era. Along with her questionable "To my homegirls here with the big butt" hype-talk.
"SMS (Bangerz)" fits both at the club and at the walkway. It's "I'll be struttin' my stuff" hook carries energy that's prime title track material. Unfortunately, after "Work Bitch", Britney Spear's rapping can't compare. "You know I'm that meow, quick to scratch your eyes out" isn't all that assertive.
"4x4": It might be funny calling country-rap "crap", but Miley combines the attitudes and danceability of both genres. "A little bit of dirt never hurt nobody / Now I got dirt all over my body" fits with the song, and Nelly contributes to the song as easily as he does with "Cruise".
"My Darlin'": This Future-Miley duet doesn't quite commit to neither ballad or hip-hop, but they convey the feeling of a dying love, and the lines "I ain't poppin' no Molly / But you still got me sweatin'" conjures up an image.
"Wrecking Ball": Presuming that she shed real tears in the video, this song holds genuine emotions that that same video sadly overshadows. Still, "Wrecking Ball" uses words like "clawed" and "chained" that might make English teachers proud--if it wasn't for her literal nakedness.
"Love, Money, Party" revels in being a hip-hop song with a southern accent, and it gives opportunity to melt into Miley's Nashville voice. Now about Big Sean's comparing a watch to a girl...
"#GETITRIGHT": This isn't Pharrell's best production (whistling is out) but Miley makes up to it with sexy lyrics like "I feel it all around my thighs / And chills going up my legs".
"Drive": Personally, this is where the album hits its stride. The dark, coldy electronic synths amplifies her anguished vocals. Also, "But I guess I got no valentine / Send me roses, I just let 'em die" is awesomely emo and it comes with a real-life story.
"FU": reminds me of Avicii's "Addicted To You"; that song's a killer. "FU" is harsher. Melding together soul-pop, inflates and goes down hard on her ex. French Montana's cameo is short, but fuels a burning dogpile on Miley's former boy.
"Do My Thang": brags one of the most anticipation-filled hooks on the record. She fits so much vocal variation in the words "I'mma do my thang". And then comes "Bang bitch / You think I'm strange bitch? / It's bananas like a fucking 'rangatang bitch". Best or worst line? You decide.
"Maybe You're Right": got skipped a couple of times while listening through the full album, but it grew on me. The extended metaphor with the chapters adds a nice touch, and the chorus displays more of Miley's underrated vocals.
"Someone Else": is something else. It combines the best of both worlds, and creates chills that even the best pop stars today only dream of. The song clearly captures a progression from naivety, to brokenness, to realization. The breathless of "Hold me close, don't let me go, I hope / Tell me that now is not the end" captures her desperation. The rapid execution of the "Love is patient" bridge.
The last words of the album, "I've turned into someone else", perfectly ends the romantic arc, and also comments on her real life transformation. Now that Hannah Montana is gone, will Miley Cyrus succeed as a pop artist? Say what you will, but I think there's some hope for her--as long as she pulls back on that tongue wagging.
What do you think of Bangerz? Bang or bust? Sound off in the comments, or tweet @RockGenius on Twitter!
Check out the lyrics on Rock Genius:
Miley Cyrus - "Adore You" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "We Can't Stop" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "SMS (Bangerz)" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "4x4" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "My Darlin'" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Love Money Party" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Get it Right" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Drive" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "FU" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Do My Thang" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Maybe You're Right" Lyrics
Miley Cyrus - "Someone Else" Lyrics