Miley Cyrus has been a whirlwind of characters and identities. Stars like Cyrus often provide the public with an interesting opportunity for anthropological study. Since she was only 12 when she started on “Hannah Montana,” her many phases and identities were presented in the then new, frenzied ways of social media.
As a result, Cyrus became a cultural phenomenon, and unearthed everything that is wrong with our culture. Adult men criticizing a 14-year-old girl, adult women saying she isn’t enough of a role model. And she, as young adult (she was just 20 when “Bangerz” was released) cracking under the pressure of living up to this kind of scrutiny. Then, the world is shocked by the result.
The change from Hannah Montana to Wrecking Ball isn’t as stark as the media made it seem. Cyrus released three albums, each edgier than the next, between the start of her career and her ~shocking~ VMA Performance. She had the same musical tastes as the average American teen, except she was making the music instead of just listening to it. Removed from the media chaos, the music wasn’t even that outrageous. Apart from a few tracks, “Bangerz” is more musically interesting, well-crafted, and tasteful than most pop music being released at the same time.
Cyrus, has broken the cycle, or at least come out on the other side. Her new album dropping on Sept. 29, and her new singles “Younger Now,” “Inspired,” and “Malibu” show promise of a more genuine and cohesive album.
The album–also titled “Younger Now,” is slated to take us all back to Cyrus’s country roots. For a track called “Rainbowland,” she teams up with country legend, Dolly Parton. The singles that have been released are rooted in country, yes, but the sound is leans more toward Americana. “Inspired” is the most country of the three–with the twang and fiddles. The other two sit on the borders between country, rock and folk.
“Younger Now” seems to epitomize this journey that she’s taken through her over- scrutinized youth. Saying that she feels like she just woke up from a dream and that she is not “afraid of who [she] used to be.” On this album she made the music that she wanted to make. She became who she alone wants to be, moving on from her past. The album will likely have the same message. Presenting us with the new Americana artist that Cyrus always should have been.