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Released: Oct 4, 2013
Genre: Pop, Hip-Hop, Synthpop
Number Of Tracks: 13
A surprising album, carrying the listener through everything from derision to awe. The album plays out like a public identity crisis, much like Miley's media coverage over the past year.
BangerzFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 08, 2013 2 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sound: Miley Cyrus has really had a weird year while playing out a major identity crisis in public while trying to further separate herself from her Hannah Montana image. This identity crisis plays out in her music as well, on "Bangerz." The album was preceded by the singles "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball." While both songs are actually fairly solid pop, they received much more attention for their suggestive content. The deluxe version of the album that I am reviewing has 16 tracks and clocks in at a minute or so over an hour. The standard version has 13 tracks and clocks in at about 50 minutes.
The album opens up with the track "Adore You" which was not written by Miley Cyrus, but instead by Stacy Barthe (who has worked with Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Brandy, and Rihanna to name just a few) and Oren Yoel (who also produced the track). The track is pretty standard pop fare, and about what you would expect from the album. The next track up is "We Can't Stop," which most everybody has heard at this point so I won't waste time on this one. Then the semi-title track, "SMS (Bangerz)," which has a guest spot by Britney Spears and the first track on the album to have a truly heavy hip hop feel to it. "4x4" is next up, which has guest vocals by Nelly. This track has an interesting beat to it and an interesting cadence to the vocals with occasional mariachi style guitar embellishments, but is kind of wrecked by vocals such as "driving so fast bout to piss on myself." Next is "My Darlin" which includes guest vocals by Future and vamps off of the classic Ben E. King song "Stand By Me." This song just doesn't really seem to work – they are trying to do this out of synch thing with the lyrics but it just sounds like they're out of time. "Wrecking Ball" is really a standout track on the album, and had me feeling really impressed, especially taking into account my not so positive impression of Miley Cyrus. "Wrecking Ball" really comes across as a powerful track. "Love Money Party" features Big Sean, and the beat isn't bad and otherwise the song kind of has a carnival ride type of feel to it. The track "#GETITRIGHT" gives me strong Cee Lo Green vibes for some reason. "Drive" has a dubstep-style synth bassline going on. The track "FU" has a jazzy feel to it, reminding me of a lot of early risqué female jazz singers until you realize the song is about text messages. Fairly early in the song some more dubstep synth comes in to the mix. French Montana provides guest vocals on this track. "Do My Thang" is next and it is one of the most heavily processed/studio created tracks on the album, including both singing and rapping by Miley. "Maybe You're Right" is a pretty strong vocal performance, and has a strong vibe to it. "Someone Else" seems to be about Miley's recent breakup with her longtime fiancé. "Rooting for My Baby" is next up, and seems to be another song written about her fiancé. "On My Own" boasts a nice bassline and an overall interesting beat. The album closes out with "Hands in the Air," which features Ludacris as a guest vocalist. The album uses a multitude of producers and what gets annoying is most of the songs produced by Mike Will Made It seem to all be "watermarked" with a voice saying "Mike Will Made It" at least once during the track. // 6
Lyrics: Miley is a skilled vocalist, no matter how crazy she might also be. For the most part this is displayed through the entire album, though more so on a few tracks than the others - such as "Wrecking Ball." There is some minimal processing used, and more than minimal processing on a few of the tracks, but she can definitely sing. The various guest vocalists used on the album do a good job, and no complaints really. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some from the track "Wrecking Ball": "we clawed/ we chained/ our hearts in vain/ we jumped never asking why/ we kissed/ I fell under your spell/ our love no one could deny/ don't you ever say I just walked away/ I will always want you/ I can't live a lie/ running for my life/ I will always want you/ I came in like a wrecking ball/ I never hit so hard in love/ all I wanted was to break your walls/ all you ever did was break me/ yeah, you wrecked me." Not exactly the lyrics you expect from a fruitcake sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth while she twerks around stage. Miley wrote or co-wrote all but 4 tracks on the album as well. // 7
Overall Impression: I would have a hard time explaining this album to someone. Everybody is probably expecting comments about Miley's odd behavior, the whole twerking hype, and her recent provocative video for "Wrecking Ball," but honestly this album is something in its own right. Some of the songs on this album come across as some really honest songwriting and good performances (such as "Adore You" and "Wrecking Ball"), and some of these tracks are really solid pop tracks. What I stated in the summary is definitely true - this album comes across like an identity crisis. // 7