Every week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Miley Cyrus’ Breakout, which hits stores tomorrow.
• “Much of the music comes with clattering, tempo-pushing Dave Grohl-ish rock drums (some of it played by Josh Freese, of a Perfect Circle) and distorted and shiny electric guitars. For variety there’s a watery slow-jam, ‘Bottom of the Ocean,’ and a ditzy cry for the environment, ‘Wake Up America,’ complete with cheerleader chorus. Then there are the simple-message tracks for the younger set: an overblown, synthetic-orchestra-and-rock-band version of Cyndi Lauper’s hit ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ a mild techno reprise (from Ms. Cyrus’s last album) of a song about a crush, ‘See You Again.’ But ‘Breakout,’ the title track, appeals to both age groups. It’s a girls-only call to fun, but it hints at a decadent, school-free future. ‘My friends and the mess we get into/These are the lessons we choose,” she sings. “Not a book full of things we’ll never use.’ ” [NYT]
• “After all this fun, Breakout‘s second half gets overly ballad-heavy–guess that’s where the growing up factors in–although, impressively, she’s a dead ringer for the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines on the mournful ‘These Four Walls.’ And then we discover the one clunker, ‘Wake Up America’–Cyrus’ eco-anthem, on which she pleads for the earth: ‘Can you give her a little attention?’ The song’s a dud, but you’ve gotta love that she talks about our troubled planet as if it were a needy adolescent.” [EW]
• “It’s a polished-sounding album, but there is always a hint of sandpaper in Cyrus’ voice, and that turns out to be a big help, preserving the illusion of teen normalcy. Cyrus always sings with real, relatable emotion, and that alone puts her miles ahead of most of her teen-pop contemporaries.” [Newark Star-Ledger]