On mature reflection
Out with the Bangerz and in with the new. Miley Cyrus’ Younger Now finds the 24-year-old in a chilled out space, using her country roots to deliver a love letter to her fiancé, the Aussie actor Liam Hemsworth.
To catch you up, Cyrus and Hemsworth first got engaged in 2012, called it quits a year later so she could act the maggot, while releasing Bangerz, a bonkers pop album, and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead
Petz, a psychedelic album dedicated to her dead pets. We got a lot of Miley in that time – too much, some might argue – and things have calmed down. Thank god.
Lead single Malibu introduced us to this new Miley. “I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” she sings softly, twirling around in a video, dressed in virginal white and surrounded by doggos. She leans into her Nashville twang and hippy sensibilities, culminating in two middling duds: Rainbowland, a duet with her godmother Dolly Parton that doesn’t go anywhere; and Inspired, a song about wanting to save the bees.
“No one stays the same,” she drawls on Younger Now, addressing her shapeshifting skills necessary to survive in the pop world and, thankfully, this shift works. She’s Not Him isn’t an opportunistic, grabby song about her sexuality, it’s a simple song about that crazy, little thing thing called love. And Miley is just full of it now.
On both Thinkin’ and Bad Mood, it’s the obsessive kind of love, which she shakes off in A Week Without You, where she celebrates the freedom of singlehood. “I’d go and grab my old blue jeans,” she sings, “I’m sick of wearing this silly dress”. If that’s freedom to you, Miley, then fire on.
Younger Now presents us with a more reflective Miley. Her tonguewagging ways are back in her dressing up box, and as she dons her cowboy boots, we can enjoy this oasis of calm until her next phase begins. mileycyrus.com
MILEY CYRUS Younger Now ★★★★ RCA Records