Miley Cyrus
Younger Now


2.8
good

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
October 2nd, 2017 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s a shame about that waste of Dolly Parton...

I have a thoroughly uncomplicated relationship with Miley Cyrus' music--I don't know much about it and what I do know, I tend to not like. However, when you throw in Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, things start to get a little more complicated. I'll come out and say it, I loved the Dead Petz. The album was a dumpster fire of half-baked ideas; an apparent thrown-together "budget" album where Miley could do whatever she pleased. Did it work? Hell no. Was it memorable? Absolutely.

Now, if you're one of the few people clamoring for another "Space Bootz" or "Milky Milky Milk" (both are stone cold classics in my opinion) then Younger Now will not only disappoint, but it will be all together baffling. But Miley's latest, torn apart, makes for a compelling album simply because of how and why it exists.

Younger Now is strange because, after finishing it, one cannot help but feel like the album is a wry, knowing smile from Miley Cryus; an affirmation that, yes, this was the plan all along. You see, had Younger Now dropped in 2012, before the MTV awards, before the pot and hyper-vegan-gender-bending, before Her Dead Petz, it would be interpreted as an entirely different record. Instead of shot at mainstream, non-Disney stardom, Miley now seems all together worldy. She has the air of a girl who discovered herself through a lifetime of experiences. Bangerz was her wild teens and everything after was frenetic youthful experimentation.

Thanks to such a story, the album isn't a breakout, it's a good ole-fashioned "return to your roots" sort of reflection. It makes everything feel more rugged and natural, despite coming from such a young performer. It's a solid and lovely record wrapped in a comeback wrapped in a great story. Miley planned it beautifully, like some Machiavellian plot set over four years. Younger Now is the album you expected then, but receiving now, albeit with more contextual panache and dramatic flair.

In a time where Lady Gaga is inducing eye rolls (sorry but the whole Joanne/Bud Light Diver Bar tour is insufferably lame), Taylor is setting the world on fire, and Katy Perry is absolutely drowning, Younger Now feels heartrendingly safe and comfortable. Miley, for the first time in years, is letting others fight for the limelight while she presents the most genuine and enjoyable music of her career.

It's safety, however, renders it somewhat toothless and benign when placed next to not only her previous material, but everything her peers are currently doing. Sure, Swish, Swish is a veritable pile of sh*t but it will likely leave more of an impression than, say, "Thinkin'." Mind you, the aforementioned track is the worst offering, but songs like "Bad Moon" and "I Would Die For You" don't fare much better. Miley has a penchant for writing languid and earthy tracks, but when they do not land the result is dull, lifeless, and forgettable.

Those songs removed, Younger Now manages to captivate with few good tunes. The best of the bunch manage to straddle the album-wide low-key tone while bringing in some much needed vitality. The title track is comparatively boisterous, even, despite some very on-the-nose lyrical content about change and past identity. Other tracks like "Week Without You" infuse a steady and infectious beat with some unexpectedly solid harmonization, yet cannot match the pitch-perfect radio friendly feeling of "Malibu" or "Younger Now." These songs show off not only the best of the album, but Miley as a songwriter. They're positively lovely; genuine and comfortable tracks with warm vocals and rich tones. They feel almost too natural, speaking volumes of her ability to make a standout track without resorting to theatrics or overt flair.

At its worst, Younger Now is inoffensively bland, wasted Dolly Parton talent aside. Songs like "Love Someone" are dead on arrival with their lifeless energy and forgettable hooks. They require repeated listens to even register some sort of familiarity, other wise dissipating from the mind completely. "Thinkin'" on the other hand is the closest the album comes to a legitimately bad track. Miley echoes herself repeatedly in obnoxious fashion until it becomes grating. Were it not for her smoky vocal performance and intermittent harmony, the song would be entirely unbearable.

Luckily, most of Younger Now is completely palatable. It's all together banal in too many places for it to leave a lasting impression, however. It's a shame, really, seeing Miley finally become the singer she was always meant to be, only for it to occur on such a mixed bag of an album.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
2.3
average
other reviews of this album
Lauren J. Paulson (2)
The proof that a vast knowledge of music's history can have a terrible impact....

TheGeoNeon (2.5)
I'm almost disappointed...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Kalopsia
October 2nd 2017


1824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

awesome review, lame album

Digging: Dorje - Catalyst

Lucid
October 2nd 2017


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agree with the songs you identified as successes, the opening two tracks are also the highlights for me. It's ironic that this is billed as her "authentic" record when Dead Petz achieved that much more naturally. That project was unfiltered in a way that a major-label album could never be.

Lucid
October 2nd 2017


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As for the era aesthetic it seems more like a costume than Gaga's Or Kesha's country-pop turns. Seems like the label constructed this narrative where she disavows her "urban" side (catch the interview quotes where she says she's done with hip-hop and twerking) in order to piggyback off the country trend. People are catching on to her peculiar habit of declaring the new album the "real" Miley. Reception is lukewarm so far and I don't project this will be nearly as successful as Bangerz.

Feather
October 2nd 2017


3844 Comments


I think I'll pass on this. Great review, I truly think Miley could make an amazing album, but this seems super boring

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2017


679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I agree Ali. I think Gaga and Kesha piggy-backed on the country thing slightly less, releasing more "crowd-pleasing" songs. This has less broad appeal. And as an aside, I don't know who this is for. This isn't a country album, nor is it pop-lite. It won't appeal to whoever liked Bangerz and I don't see it causing people to "rediscover" Miley. I honestly see this as a soft-flop in the same vein as Joanne (which still had decent sales but the worst of Gaga's career).

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Deus Salutis Meae

mifzal
October 2nd 2017


2499 Comments


Miley can be good when she wants to.

TheSleepys
October 2nd 2017


148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anyone who expected this to be another Dead Petz must have been living under a rock.

StrikeOfTheBeast
October 2nd 2017


1250 Comments


Loving Dead Petz makes eating a dead fetus sound like a delightful idea, but this review is good so pos.

Lucid
October 2nd 2017


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dead Petz is an album of the decade but okay

StrikeOfTheBeast
October 2nd 2017


1250 Comments


If that's the case, the standards must be set pretty low for the modern day music scene.

LaurenPaulson
October 3rd 2017


5 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

bangerz was her magnum opus imo

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2017


39289 Comments


kesha already made this album and did it far better (down to the Dolly Parton feature)

Asdfp277
October 3rd 2017


15333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is kinda good, idk

TheSleepys
October 4th 2017


148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its my favorite Miley album so far. Bangerz is my second

Scoob
October 4th 2017


1600 Comments


Does this m/

Lena01
October 5th 2017


3 Comments


hello, all ))
I love her , she is a good singer , especially i love her ( STAY , and THE CLIMB )

Scoob
October 5th 2017


1600 Comments


m/

Asdfp277
October 5th 2017


15333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

all her first ballads rule hard

hasan
October 6th 2017


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pop on the page yea alot of heavy cds on the web site it is good with some hard hits but it is good to see a pop cd to here songs on the web site

RaveChild
October 6th 2017


22 Comments


Americans...



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