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Friday April 19th

Miley Cyrus’ ‘Endless Summer Vacation’: A celebration of heartbreak

<p>(Photo courtesy of <a href="https://music.apple.com/us/album/endless-summer-vacation/1663973555" target="">Apple Music</a>)<br/><br/></p>

(Photo courtesy of Apple Music)

By Sara Nigro
Staff Writer

Earlier this year, pop singer and songwriter Miley Cyrus released “Flowers,” the song that would catapult her to the top of the charts for the first time in a decade. The single immediately captivated listeners, due to her empowering lyrics and the speculation of their relation to her famous ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth.

Following the success of this release, Cyrus debuted her latest studio album, “Endless Summer Vacation” on Friday, March 10.

Detailing her former relationship with Hemsworth, Cyrus expresses her guilt, anger and eventual understanding of the situation through her lyrics and intense production.

In comparison to her previous album “Plastic Hearts,” released in 2020, Cyrus takes on a more lighthearted, pop feel throughout each song. She still holds on to her sultry vocals, but adds a more celebratory vibe to many of her songs.

The first track, “Flowers,” samples Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and takes a twist on the original song’s lyrics, with a similar tune. While Mars regretfully explains what he should’ve done for a partner in a past relationship, such as buy her flowers and take her dancing, Cyrus sings about how she can do all of these things for herself. She creates an anthem of independence and strength as she sings, “Yeah, I can love me better than you can.”

As always, Cyrus showcases her vocals. She also has a few lyrics that stuck out to me. Some are emotionally provoking as a listener while others are just catchy for a pop song.

In the second track, “Jaded,” Cyrus sings, “I’ll change my number, but keep your T-shirt” as she reflects on the memories of a past relationship. This lyric was so thought-provoking for me as it metaphorically explains the nostalgia and attachment to memories, despite the lack of a current connection to a partner.

Another lyric that stood out to me was, “I'm kind of crazy 'cause that's how you make me / I don't need Jesus 'cause, baby, you saved me” in “You.” This song expresses Cyrus’ desire to do anything and everything, but only with a specific person. The entire nature of the song is obsessive, and it comes across that way to listeners through all aspects: lyrics, production and vocals.

There was only one song I had a strong dislike for from the first listen: “Handstand.” Completely different from any other song on the album, it starts with Cyrus speaking rather than singing, in what sounds almost like slam poetry. It’s very strange and doesn’t flow nicely with the rest of the album when listening from start to finish.

“Muddy Feet,” which features Sia, seems to encompass the hurt of a past relationship and has a shock factor to it that is demonstrated in more ways than one. The angry lyrics, “Get the fuck out of my hеad with that shit / Get the fuck out of my bed with that shit” and the insane production give the song an edge that sets it apart from the others.

The song seems to allude to cheating in her prior relationship with Hemsworth with lyrics such as, “And you smell like perfume that I didn’t purchase / Now I know why you've been closing the curtains” and “ Back and forth / Always questioning my questioning.”

A couple songs such as “Rose-Colored Lenses” and “Island” remind me of her single “Malibu” from her previous album, “Younger Now.” The production is upbeat and gives a sort of “vacation” feel to the listeners. Cyrus reflects on the polarizing coping mechanisms of codependency and fantasy in one song versus complete isolation in the other.

While very different from the others, the most moving song in my opinion is the piano ballad “Wonder Woman,” written for her grandmother. Cyrus explained the story behind it in an interview with Bustle.

“It’s about generational strength and the wisdom that my grandma gave to my mom,” Cyrus said. “It’s embedded in my DNA, so we almost all feel like one woman in a way. One Wonder Woman.”

She sings about a woman so strong that she never wants to be seen as weak to those she loves, “All the pain is polished/All the tears are planned.” The song as a whole is beautiful, with vulnerable lyrics and soft piano accompaniment. 

Strategically, she opens the album with “Flowers” and ends with “Flowers (demo),” the slower, more vocally vulnerable version of the song. This order seems to demonstrate the honesty that Cyrus shows from the beginning to end of the album, as it starts more as a fun, celebration and ends on a more reflective note.

Cyrus has created an overall cohesive album that feels representative of her current phase in life. From the heartache to the healing, she shows off her honesty with the help of her always-improving vocal talents.




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