Review Summary: A very solid EP from Miley that honestly surprised me given her reputation. Party in the USA and the cover of Kicking And Screaming are the best songs on here but they are, for the most part, all strong except one.
At face value, Miley Cyrus might seem like just another Disney whore who gets everything she wants and makes nice pretty over-processed music for dumb-ass ten year olds who would even buy it if Disney did a *** in a CD case. However, for those who have taken the time to listen to her EP entitled The Time Of Our lives they will know that this is not the case and that she is a more than listenable artist with a number of good songs and catchy as hell music. It's Disney rock, so it isn't going to be anything too mind blowing, but it's definitely not the absolute tripe many who have not experience it would have you believe.
Kicking things off with a cover song, the EP gets off to a bang with Kicking And Screaming. The thundering guitar lines make for a nice backdrop whilst Miley sings in a defiant voice over the top of it all and shows off a fairly wide range. Yes, this is just another catchy as *** Disney song that will get annoying with multiple listens but it is a more than solid song. The same can be said for the second song, Party In The USA. This has gone on to be Miley's signature song and far and away her best known, with the brilliant chorus carrying it along despite the silly chorus ("moving my hips like yeah"... how can you move your hips like "yeah", Miley") Following two strong as hell songs it is kind of hard to see why she gets the hate she does aside from her unprofessional actions such as lap dancing for a man double her age in a bar as has become one of her most famous outings.
It is not all good though as the overly long When I Look At You showcases perfectly. This is overly long in the sense that it is essentially the exact same thing over and over again until it is drilled into your head. This works well with songs around two and three minutes but four and a half is pushing it, especially when the chorus is about as underwhelming as it gets. This is hands down the worst song on the EP with some horrible guitar work, a terrible solo and an annoying keyboard in the background. Despite this however, Miley herself still puts in a strong performance vocally. Also, this song attempts to be a little too serious which really does not fit Miley despite the fact her voice is very powerful on here.
As the star of the EP it is down to Miley to carry it with her voice, not the instrumentals performed by various other people. She does this very well, with a voice well suited to this style of pop-rock music but as mentioned before on more serious songs she can not quite cut it. Her voice has a lot of power behind it and when she strains for even higher notes it does sound good, but comes across as too forced. She also has a decent slightly lower register as is shown off at the start of the title track. Her best performances are on the first two songs, with the defiant as hell vocals and lyrics to Kicking And Screaming matching her style perfectly. For the most part, the instrumentals and lyrics are the things that drag this down a little, with the lyricism being both immature and poorly written and the instrumentals are too repetitive and bland.
As far as Disney rock goes, The Time Of Our Lives is a more than listenable EP with some standout songs such as the ultra-catchy Party In The USA that does its harmless task of getting us singing along perfectly. I highly recommend this to anyone just looking for a good sing-a-long friendly EP that is really good fun to listen to that thunders along and never dwells on anything for too long without taking itself too seriously.