Miley Cyrus, BANGERZ (deluxe version)
"I'm a female rebel, can't you tell?" Miley sings on "4*4" and there are plenty of songs where this is her aim. The once-innocent singer is now cursing up a storm, singing about sex and drugs ("We Can't Stop" is an anthem for both young people's independence and partying), and leaving the pop sound of her last album behind for more hip hop, with plenty of guest appearances by rappers (plus Britney Spears, possibly the queen of going from Disney to sexy).
But rebellion only goes so far-- and Miley carries the album further by displaying her talent here. There are several soaring ballads, from the opening love song "Adore You" to the end of the regular album "Someone Else." She occasionally ventures into pop, and the three bonus songs on the deluxe version include funky 1970s-style empowerment ("On My Own") and a straightforward love song ("Rooting for My Baby"). And no matter the genre, her voice sounds strong, controlled, and impressive through the album.
There are times on Bangerz where Miley sounds like she's trying too hard to appeal to young people (the unnecessary hashtag before "Getitright," the abbreviations in "F U" that make it sound like the lyrics are a tweet) or to shock (so much cursing and sex). But this album works very well, as Miley struts her stuff (also the meaning of "SMS") and delivers a good variety of entertaining music.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch