Navigating the transition from child star to mature singer, the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana has taken over 2013 and has made us all witnesses.
Miley Cyrus has obviously been in the media this year, from her MTV VMA's performance to her twerk videos, all in preparation of her first album she had real creative control of: "Bangerz."
As the daughter of Mr. Achy Breaky Heart himself, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the goddaughter of country music legend Dolly Parton, she had every opportunity to make it as a child star and very little choice of what she wanted to do.
The role of Hannah Montana continued for about five years until she finally grew out of her old persona. After a two year sabbatical, she took to a more hip-hop lifestyle, ditching the crutches of her past and deciding to create an album that reflects her new self.
Teaming up with hip-hop producer heavyweights Mike Will Made It and Pharrell to craft the majority of the sound, Cyrus delivers an album that is sure to leave a mark.
The album begins with a song that is far from the type of banger you would expect but is every bit as satisfying. The love ballad "Adore You" is a vocal performance that shows listeners how versatile and talented Cyrus actually is. She steps out of her recent comfort zone with a true R&B/pop track that allows her to showcase how strong of a voice she has over a very blank canvas of a beat.
The album takes a hard turn with the lead single "We Can't Stop." The summer song of 2013 sets the tone for theme and sound of the rest of the album. With clever lyrics painting a picture of everything from amazing parties to late night hookups, Cyrus shows that she is far from the little kid fans had come to adore.
The next song on the album, titled "SMS (Bangerz)," is an infectious track that is somewhat of a passing of the torch from the biggest pop act of the past decade, Britney Spears, to the clear new face of the genre, Miley Cyrus.
The album continues with the Pharrell-produced "4x4," where Cyrus gathers her country energy to give an ode to her past life. Teaming up with the biggest hip-hop/country crossover act of our time, Nelly, she delivers a song that is bound to get anyone thinking of a classic hoedown.
"Bangerz" is consistent throughout the midsection including the number one single "Wrecking Ball," but the album really finds its stride with the eighth song "#GETITRIGHT." Yet again, Pharrell and Cyrus craft a song that allows Cyrus show off her actual skills. She uses this whistle-laced track to talk about someone whom she has a clear passion for, and wants to show it to him in a number of ways.
The standout track from the album comes in the form of the next track "Drive," which seems to be the song where the album truly comes together. Cyrus and Mike Will Made It both reach their creative peaks and find the perfect balance between their talents. Cyrus describes a lost love that she believes she can't go on without over an amazingly drum-filled Mike Will Made It beat that is sure to dominate the radio.
Overall, separating her antics and all of the hype from music, Cyrus delivers on a lot of levels with "Bangerz." There are points in the album where it is obvious that Cyrus has some room to grow from the sometimes lackluster lyrics to some of the tracks being repetitive, but the foundation for this album is definitely there.
This album proves that Miley Cyrus is more than just a fad and will be around for a long time in the music world.