Album review: 'Endless Summer Vacation' by Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus treats fans to a brand new album...

Caitlin Gilhespie
23rd March 2023
Miley's collection of albums, from Bangerz to Younger Now to Plastic Hearts, not to forget her EP She is Coming, each tell a story of who she is at that moment in time. Encapsulating pop, hip-hop, R&B, country and glam-rock, Miley's music is eclectic, expressive, and empowering. Endless Summer Vacation is a controlled, sensual ode to the journey on which she finds herself. Although the album isn’t as wild and punchy as what we’ve seen before, its ability to tell a story of self-reflection, progression and growth is striking.

The opening to the album, ‘Flowers’ seems to be a response to Bruno Mars’ ‘If I Was Your Man’, Miley’s wedding song with ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth. In line with the sentiment of 'Plastic Hearts', the lyrics embrace the importance of self-love and self-empowerment, which transitions perfectly into the raw and powerful vocals of ‘Jaded’. Unexpectedly, the rest of the album discusses new romance, female figures, and self-reflection. As Cryus puts it, “this album feels like it’s kind of a concoction of all of the best of those sounds that (she’s) tried out”.

Credit: YouTube @MIley Cyrus

In her Backyard Sessions, Miley breaks down the structure of the album into the “a.m” and the “p.m”, which takes us on a journey. The first half of the album, representing the “a.m” holds a softer, refreshing note to introduce us. The innocent and optimistic love described in ‘Rose Colored Glasses’, depicts a protected love story that suspends us in imagination. This softness draws a parallel with ‘Thousand Miles’, echoing her country influence in a tale of acceptance.

Endless Summer Vacation is a controlled, sensual ode to the journey on which she finds herself

As we transition to the second half, the “p.m” offers us a sleek sexiness. Stating “sometimes we just need a dance-floor banger”, ‘River’ is a “nasty” beat that resembles past albums, much like ‘Muddy Feet’. However, ‘Island’ is somewhat a fresh concept for Miley, situating us in a paradisal dream-state, although doesn’t seem to pick up as much as we’d hope.  As a tribute to her grandmother, ‘Wonder Woman’ is a gripping ballad that encourages a reflection onto the women in our own lives, who have shaped who we are.

It feels like an "intimate, honest conversation" with a friend

Where Miley’s previous albums seem to divert from expectation, never following the path of least resistance, this album doesn’t hold quite the same sense of shock and excitement. It feels like an “intimate, honest conversation” with a friend we have seen grow alongside ourselves. But I don’t think there’s a flaw in that. Miley’s music has taken us on a journey of self-discovery, and this album projects a softer sensibility that isn’t as rough around the edges.

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