Review Summary: Catchy pop/rock.....yes even from the devils at Disney
Everyone has secrets. In the world of music its those albums that you hide when friends come over, and the ones you never actually admit to liking while in the dead of night you huddle under your covers and enjoy whatever album is such taboo to enjoy. Some of these guilty pleasures in my own collection include Someday Came Suddenly
by Attack Attack!, Breakthrough
by Colbie Cailat, and Suicide Season
by Bring Me the Horizon. A new addition to this list is The Time of Our Lives
by Miley Cyrus.
Now I am a complete anti-Disney type of person. I feel that the company markets so many one hit wonder type of artists that vanish and fade within a good few years, and yet these are the people the younger generations look up to. Miley Cyrus is one of these “products” put on the market by the Disney machine. Initially I wrote off her music, as it seemed like just a marketing tool versus an actual artist performing and writing an album. My pre-bias made me dig a shell of ignorance in which I stayed for a long time. It wasn’t until I got to college, and after trying to convince numerous females that Miley Cyrus was irrelevant in the world of music and that they should turn to “real” music like Thrice, Nightwish and August Burns Red, I realized that this was futile as they were too far gone. So, I decided to embrace my own idea of never judging anything before listening (which I had already done) and download this album for a test run. What transpired was not what I was expecting; not even close.
I was first introduced to Miley’s (more like Disney’s) brand of pop/rock with the album opener Kicking and Screaming. This song tries to show Miley as some sort of tough chick, like a Hailey Williams or something, but her vocal style does not have enough authority to give the song the kick it needs to become tolerable. This brings me to my first problem with The Time of Our Lives
, her vocals and her lyrics.
Now I wasn’t expecting Miley to write lyrics (does she even write her lyrics?) on the level of Bon Iver or Brand New, but I was expecting a little more insight and intelligence. She seems to not decide between writing serious lyrics or more immature (“fun”) ones. Songs flicker back and forth between both and I just feels so inconsistent. The album also boasts a few annoying portions such as the intro to Talk is Cheap, and the lines about the songs on the radio in Party in the USA, that just make me wonder why they were necessary. Miley’s vocals also are a frustration on The Time of Our Lives. She does not have the power to make rockers like Kicking and Screaming work, but she does not have the soft seductive tone to make ballads like Obsessed connect with the listener.
With all my complaints about lyrics and vocals, one might ask why I gave this album the rating I did. Well good sir, its catchy as all get out. Time of Our Lives
boasts a catchy guitar line to go along with Miley’s autotuned vocal approach which just forces you to bob your head and forces its way deep inside your cranium. Bouncy synth lines permeate this album, and variety is shown in such tracks as the country tinged lead single Party In the USA and the string-laden ballad Obsessed. This album will take you hook, line and sinker.
I did not expect to like any part of this album, but as I listened closer, I found myself enjoying it. Lines got stuck in my head, and bouncy guitars and synths forced my foot to start tapping out a beat. This album will end up as one of my guilty pleasures, and although it suffers from some obvious weaknesses, it is an enjoyable listen.