With her single "Flowers", US musician Miley Cyrus had the greatest success of her career at the beginning of the year. The song not only landed at number one in the US, but also in the German charts for the first time. The 30-year-old's song, which is about self-empowerment after a breakup, went viral on social media. "Flowers" also broke the Spotify record for the most streamed song in a week.
Accordingly, their eighth studio album "Endless Summer Vacation" was eagerly awaited. And it doesn't disappoint - but it can't keep the catchy character of "Flowers" either. "Endless Summer Vacation" is a solid mix of pop songs with synth and the occasional light country influence.
It's all about love and sex
On her previous albums, the Nashville-born daughter of country musician Billy Ray Cyrus has played through various genres of pop music history. Her musical and image-related emancipation from the Disney character Hannah Montana, who Cyrus played as a teenager, began with the dance-pop album "Bangerz" from 2013. This was followed by psychedelic pop ("Miley Cyrus
"Endless Summer Vacation" is now a little bit of everything. The album combines ballads, mid-tempo songs and electro bangers like the second single "River", which evokes memories of the synth-pop classic "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)". In addition to "Flowers" - the still undisputed hit, which can be heard in two versions on the album - there are a handful of highlights. "You", for example, is a waltz-like, catchy power ballad that fantasizes about a wild nocturnal romance against the background of a piano melody and powerful beats.
Anyway, there is a lot about love and sex on this album. Self-assertion is always part of the Miley Cyrus story. So when Cyrus sings about feelings, the memory of independence is never far away.
Accordingly, the strong mid-tempo electro song "Wildcard" says: "I love when you hold me/ But loving you is never enough/ And don't wait for me/ 'Cause forever may never come". Translated something like: "I love it when you hold me/ But loving you is never enough/ And don't wait for me/ Because there may never be a 'forever'".
Miley Cyrus keeps control of her image
Younger pop stars in particular are always hyped when their music allows conclusions to be drawn about their private lives. This gives the fans opportunities to play guesswork, and of course also a perceived closeness to the revered star. Interpretations linking Cyrus' break-up song "Flowers" to her split from longtime partner Liam Hemsworth went viral almost as quickly as the song itself.
And like other pop stars, most notably Taylor Swift, Cyrus plays with these attributions. She recorded the single "Muddy Feet" with pop musician Sia. Another musical highlight that relies entirely on a piano melody casually haunting the background and reduced beats. Lyrically, the lyrical I settles accounts with a counterpart who has betrayed her. Male infidelity has long been part of fan interpretations of why Cyrus broke up with Hemsworth. Of course, neither of them said that in public.
Above all, female pop stars - who, as we know from the history of Britney Spears, were often patronized in the worst possible way - are now often concerned with maintaining control over their own image and music. Even though "Endless Summer Vacation" was penned by various producers and musicians, Cyrus is listed as the songwriter on every track (the name of the Berlin-born musician Bibi Bourelly is also listed here on some songs).
Cyrus started her own label a few years ago and once made headlines for reportedly hiring people from her circle of friends to manage her. Self-empowerment is important to her both as a public person and as a musical theme. "Endless Summer Vacation" creates a good bracket. And it's fun to listen to too.