Reviews

Miley Cyrus “Endless Summer Vacation” Album Review

Endless Summer Vacation

Miley Cyrus

  • Genre: Pop
  • Date: 10 Mar, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 13
  • ℗ 2023 Smiley Miley, Inc. under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

Miley Cyrus &Quot;Endless Summer Vacation&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 29, 2024

After ending her eight-year contract with RCA Records, Cyrus signed a deal with Columbia Records in March 2021. In a story dated October 2021, Billboard reported that Miley Cyrus was putting the finishing touches on her next album. The record, described as “her love letter to LA,” shows the changes she underwent while it was being made.

American singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus’s eighth album, Endless Summer Vacation, was released on 10 Mar 2023 through Smiley Miley and Columbia Records. After signing with Columbia in early 2021, Cyrus left RCA Records shortly after the release of her seventh studio album Plastic Hearts (2020). She then started working on her next studio album.

Cyrus co-wrote several songs with Gregory “Aldae” Hein and Michael Pollack. They began as straightforward piano compositions and evolved into their final shapes. According to Pollack, Cyrus focused on songwriting before taking on the production. She worked with producers such as Tyler Johnson, Greg Kurstin, Kid Harpoon, and Mike Will Made It; the latter also contributed to the albums She Is Coming and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015). (2013). (2019). The record was produced in Los Angeles. Although her vocal hostility is not permanently subdued, she downplays her vocal gymnastics and drama for a significant section of “Endless Summer Vacation,” making it harder to spot her in a blindfold test.

Album Art

Miley Cyrus &Quot;Endless Summer Vacation&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 29, 2024

The album’s art screams, “Miley is Fire.” Cyrus is dressed in sexy clothing, and she hangs upon a bar-and-chain, as seen in circus acts. Her demeanor shows that she means business as her cool glasses and half-a-smile give her the looks of one who deserves attention. The clear Blue skies and the summer sun add glow to her features that hint at resilience and determination while employing her “womanly” nature. If you take all in-album art and music- at once, this captivating image will set your mind racing with questions that this 12-track album will try to answer.

Tracks And Features

Miley Cyrus &Quot;Endless Summer Vacation&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 29, 2024

The album is divided into AM and PM halves, according to Cyrus. PM indicates the dark, which “feels like there’s a sleek, seediness and sort of a grime but a glitter at the same time,” while AM represents “the morning phase, where there’s a bustle and vigor, and there’s a hope of fresh possibilities.” The lead song, “Flowers,” was released on 12 Jan 2023, to both critical and commercial success. It lasted six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list, became Miley Cyrus’ second single to top the chart, and set multiple streaming records. The song’s success transcended national boundaries, topping charts in over 35 countries. The second single, “River,” was released on 10 Mar 2023.

When she’s mellowing down with a minimalist, rhythm-section-based ballad like “Rose Colored Glasses” or getting a bit wackier with a scary avant-pop discursion like “Handstand,” the vocalist just understands her inner Joan Jett doesn’t need to crank up its engines. There are a few features on the album by Brandi Carlile and Sia. However, their star billing doesn’t matter in either case, so fans of either artist should be cautioned. In the second half of the charming “Thousand Miles,” Carlile contributes a background voice, but it’s so far down in the mix that it’s unclear why Cyrus bothered to enlist outside expertise. On “Muddy Feet,” which she co-wrote, Sia at least gets some lead lyrics, but she doesn’t make her brief cameo until the song’s coda.

The latter song has a tad more tension, at least. Perhaps a lot; we were mistaken when we said that the album’s remaining tracks after “Flowers” are free of Liam content. Let’s pretend for the sake of argument and fun that the repeated statement “Get the fuck out of my house with that trash” isn’t about someone Cyrus has managed to keep secret these past several years because it has to be about someone. On an album that doesn’t usually fire many shots over many arrows, “Muddy Feet” is one of the tracks where the growl makes a comeback; it earns it.

Yet, the slightly jazzy sound she adds to the album’s ending reprise of “Flowers,” somewhat reminiscent of one of Billie Eilish’s tradition-skirting songs, is more striking than her briefly snarling tone there. Cyrus also plays it softly on “Wonder Woman,” a nearly exclusively piano-focused ballad that sounds like a feminist “Desperado” and might have been inspired by Cyrus’ mother or another stolid and often depressing role model.

The recently released second song, “River,” chock-full of vintage synth sounds and Giorgio Morder-style bliss, is at the opposite end of the energy spectrum, even though most of what Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson do with Cyrus here is less overtly aimed at the radio or dance floor. There are a few listless spots in the record. Despite an intriguing fundamental change by partner BJ Burton between the furious verses and the tropical choruses, “Island,” buried late in the tracklist, never wholly succeeds.

Yet, this has many positive aspects, starting with “Flowers,” of course. In a way that “I Will Survive” meets “Lose You to Love Me” meets “Don’t Start Now” meets other songs, it’s derivative, but there’s no reason to dismiss it. The only work of Greg Kurstin as a writer and producer comes next. It is called “Jaded,” It is pure mellow gold in its kind and carefree treatment of a breakup. So what exactly is wrong with feeling good about feeling bad, as the age-old question goes?

Another excellent song from the first half is “You,” a 6/8 torch song with an old-school R&B vibe that is highly drunken and melancholy. With lyrics so hilarious and out of character that it may be safe to assume they are the work of credited co-writer Harmony Korine (yes, that Harmony Korine), the deliciously oddball, highly electronic song “Handstand,” produced by the Regrettes’ Maxx Morando, makes for a stark contrast and brings this album as close as it will get to her Flaming Lips one-off. With an even greater dose of arrogance, Cyrus sings, sounding something like the recently fascinating Taylor Swift.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Flowers 3:20
2 Jaded 3:05
3 Rose Colored Lenses 3:43
4 Thousand Miles (feat. Brandi Carlile) 3:51
5 You 2:59
6 Handstand 3:25
7 River 2:42
8 Violet Chemistry 4:06
9 Muddy Feet (feat. Sia) 2:16
10 Wildcard 3:13
11 Island 3:59
12 Wonder Woman 3:05
13 Flowers 3:30

Album Summary

Cyrus has always come across as more of a stoner girl, “Endless Summer Vacation” combines that type of laid-back, effortless vibe with some incredibly pure pop sensibilities. It’s not the record you want to oversell; she might release more conclusive declarations or cleverer hits. Yet, for now, it’s pleasing to watch her achieve more while exerting less. The tone is perfectly set by the album cover, which depicts Cyrus as a trapeze performer who, at this point, might be too high to fail rather than a wrecking ball.

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