Miley Cyrus is one of the most versatile artists of this decade and her freshly released E.P. SHE IS COMING proves it with ferocity.
Beginning with “Mother’s Daughter”, a hymn for all women in this political and social climate, Cyrus retains her take-no-sh*t image. “Hallelujah, I’m a witch, I’m a witch, hallelujah” harkens back to centuries of persecution and injustice, harnessing the power of divine feminine energy. This sets the tone for the E.P., foreshadowing blunt words and catchy chorus’.
Cyrus continues to please with track 2, the shortest song on the E.P., titled “Unholy”. Embracing the role of ‘Disney Child Star Gone Rogue’, this is Cyrus at her most defensive. Combatting the idea that the Famous must be role models with clear and upstanding values as devoid of imperfection as possible, “Unholy” asserts the Human experience and right to be anything but devoid of imperfection. This is the matured “Nobody’s Perfect”, for all the now full-grown Hannah Montana fans.
“D.R.E.A.M.” featuring Ghostface Killah quickly follows “Unholy”, and retains that shattered image. The song sports beats that could soundtrack screaming out car windows, walking down city streets at night, or watching the sunrise on the beach. This soundscape works in tandem with the solemn lyrics about chasing highs. Cyrus breathily sings the chorus, curating an ethereal listening space that is almost liminal. The track ends with Ghostface Killah rapping over a music box tune that sits perfectly juxtaposed from the rest of the song, and preps the listener for the next track- a catchy, up-beat bop.
RuPaul introduces “Cattitude” with fast words and a lilting melody that carries throughout the song. This is the song to blast at the beginning, the middle, and the end of every carefully made pump-up playlist. The voices of Cyrus and RuPaul work in carefully choreographed tandem to create a song of confidence, of unapologetic aggression, and of B.P.E. (Big Pussy Energy).
“Party Up the Street” is a chill collaboration with Swae Lee and Mike WiLL Made-It. A true wind down, chill out song, it signals the end of the hard hitting, beat heavy section of the E.P., and allows for Cyrus to end on a very accentuated and stripped down note with “The Most”.
Coming out from behind the hard exterior built by the previous tracks, “The Most” shows Cyrus at her most vulnerable. A song that is sonically similar to “Malibu”, “The Most” is made up of careful vocals and charming instrumentals. Sitting opposite “Mother’s Daughter”, this final track speaks of grappling with perceived shortcomings as opposed to acceptance of them, much like what is heard in “Unholy”. Perhaps this is due to the engagement with a second party; Cyrus asks “Why do I hurt you so? Is it because you love me the most?” This self-awareness and introspection is relatable, emotionally jolting, and thought provoking. Layered on top of the soft beats, the lyrics lead the E.P. to an organic and satisfying end.
SHE IS COMING is both battle cry and meditation, showcasing that Cyrus is here to rock the best of both worlds with expertise.
*Image from Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins [Public domain]