Back to her roots

New Straits Times - - Groove -

MAL­IBU Mi­ley Cyrus

THE girl who made “twerk­ing” a house­hold name and shocked the world with her con­tro­ver­sial im­age is back four years later with a whole new look. “Some­times I get so scared of what I can’t un­der­stand, but here I am, next to you. The Sky’s more blue in Mal­ibu,” croons Mi­ley Cyrus on her lat­est sin­gle.

The stripped down, sum­mer breeze tune sees her try­ing to turn over a new leaf. It’s the com­plete op­po­site of We Can’t Stop and Wreck­ing Ball from her pre­vi­ous chart-top­ping al­bum, Bangerz.

In her lat­est in­ter­view will Bill­board, Cyrus ad­mit­ted to leav­ing be­hind the hip hop beats for her coun­try and folk roots.

Mal­ibu is a new di­rec­tion for Cyrus, and a wel­comed one, that sees her more re­laxed than ever, judg­ing by the gui­tar riffs, soft drums and acous­tic vibe. The music video also has her in a very happy mood that just puts a smile on your face. It’s like a con­fes­sion of her love to cur­rent beau Liam Hemsworth, so pure, earnest and beau­ti­ful.

A light and easy listen, it’s some­thing you’d play on a Sun­day evening or a chill night out with a lover or friends. Her vo­cals are amaz­ing too. She’s ma­tured and grown so much over the years. It may not be her best work but I’m lik­ing the sound and di­rec­tion she’s tak­ing.

Look­ing for­ward to the rest of the al­bum, out later this year. Fin­gers crossed!

Rat­ing: 3.5/5 music, love, his tat­toos and even got him to speak in Malay!

His hit sin­gle from the al­bum that made him a su­per­star, Say You Won’t Let Go, wouldn’t have hap­pened if not for one fate­ful phone call. “I was in LA. My best friend and I were just hang­ing in town when I got a call from the record la­bel ask­ing for a love song,” he re­vealed.

The al­bum ini­tially was just songs about re­demp­tion and com­ing back from the edge, which was es­sen­tially what his strug­gles were. But then he started think­ing about love and how he could come up with such a song.”I didn’t want to make a typ­i­cal love song, I wanted to say some­thing hon­est. So yeah, it just struck me about the whole hold­ingy­our-hair-back-when-you’re-throw­ing up hon­est lyrics,” he said.

A re­cent music video for Can I Be Him gar­nered praise and has over four mil­lion views. The song was, sur­pris­ingly, ac­cord­ing to Arthur, “from my imag­i­na­tion”.

“I imag­ined the love of my life singing the song and hop­ing the song was about me,” he said, be­fore adding, “Ev­ery­body wants to be that per­son for some­body. I was just try­ing to make some­thing we can all feel and con­nect to.”

On the song, he croons: “When the lights come on and I’m on my own, will you be there to sing it again, could I be the one you talk about in all your sto­ries.” It’s very emo­tional, hon­est, real and beau­ti­fully sung.

My other two favourites are Safe In­side and the al­bum’s tit­u­lar track. Arthur and the pro­duc­ers did a great job on this re­lease, which ex­udes hope and op­ti­mism and loads of tough love. It’s a solid come­back and I’m sure this is only the tip of the ice­berg for Arthur.

Rat­ing: 4.5/5

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