For her sixth studio album Younger Now, the pop juggernaut that is Miley Cyrus is out to prove to the world that she’s a new woman. Older and wiser, she’s attempting to erase her previous image, which is exactly why the album is a flop; an empty gesture made up of vain declarations. She’s publicly come out and admonished the lyrics to “Wrecking Ball,” claiming that it is not indicative of who she is. She’s running from her past, scrambling for excuses instead of learning from it.

Younger Now is a premature showing, underdeveloped and poorly executed. Her previous antics are embedded in the minds of people worldwide, which is exactly what she wanted. Now that she has to live with the wreckage, she’s desperately trying to counter it by conjuring up a clean, wholesome image. The timing is off and her lyrics read as inauthentic. Redemption is available to all, but in this case it’s forced and too transparent to warrant a warm response.

Younger Now

Striking a balance between her tongue-wagging persona and the naivety of Hannah Montana. Production from Oren Yoel orchestrates the slippery transition, a finicky mixture of country and pop. The awakening is a nightmarish attempt to exorcise all the gaudiness she embraced while appeasing the ravenous execs who like many instances before took pleasure in degrading the image of a former child star: [LISTEN]

Malibu

As she attempts to reconcile with a former love, her reinvention takes another transparent step forward. Instead of her body, it’s the sound that is stripped down to the bare essentials. She’s letting it all out, and reminiscing over better days. It takes her back to the beach, where she daydreams about the time they spent together. The sap is unbearable, another vainglorious display: [LISTEN]

Rainbowland

Line dancing her way all the way back to the Grand Ole Opry, and it’s as trashy and godawful as it sounds. Even the presence of the beloved¬†Dolly Parton can’t save the sonic abomination that is Miley Cyrus. As her previous forays into alien landscapes, her interpretation of country is a rehash of all the standard tropes. The two are trying to bond, but the generation gap is too gaping to overcome: [LISTEN]

Week Without You

Vulnerable, but not submissive. Impassioned, but not psychotic. A simple, straightforward expression that doesn’t sugarcoat the best parts. She adopts a lax approach that suits her transition from sex kitten to legitimate artist. Without the blinding glare of the limelight, she’s able to take a moment to explore her true feelings, which is a welcome departure from her usual song and dance: [LISTEN]

Miss You So Much

Frantic strumming simulates the emotional roller coaster she’s on. It’s an ode to her friend who overdosed; her way of coming to terms with the loss. While her heart is in the right place, there is a noticeable lack of depth that flattens the mood. The emphasis isn’t placed so much on the relationship as it is her reaction to the loss, which makes the confessional more vain than it needs to be: [LISTEN]

I Would Die For You

A sexless love song that brings out her tender side. The light strumming and feathery percussion underscores her voice, and the genuine nature of her emotions nearly bring her to tears. The breakthrough, however, is sullied by more indulgent expressions. To die for love is a standard, and to revisit that idea is to glaze over the truth. Almost there, but not quite ready to follow through: [LISTEN]

Thinkin’

Your standard woman scorned song, one packed to the gills with fire and ice. The fire is her scolding her man for leaving her high and dry, the ice is the cold shoulder she’s showing him. Predictably she leaves a little slither of daylight so he can make amends but not without making him feel bad first. It’s late and she’s reeling; losing her mind and resorting back to her old obsessive ways: [LISTEN]

Bad Mood

Her significant other has her waking up in a sour mood. She’s groggy and grumpy, mad that he’s not there to pet her back into coherence. The thrashing guitar is her stomping around with her bottom lip poked out, and she’s finally reached her breaking point. No longer will she be the heel, she’s a new person with a fresh identity. It’s a weak move, made up of showy and altogether empty gestures: [LISTEN]

Love Someone

Fed up with the rigmarole and ready for a change. She’s packing her bags and leaving all the keepsakes behind. Still, there’s an air of entitlement that says that she never had much to lose in the first place. With that in mind a thick layer of nonsense descends upon the mood, creating a false sense of empowerment. Fallacy of grand proportion is the norm, and it’s become her primary M.O.: [LISTEN]

She’s Not Him

She’s at a loss and in the end decides she can’t move on without gathering herself first. She’s still hung up on her previous love, his silhouette lingering in her imagination like a ghost. In one way she’s ruined, but in another way she’s liberated. It’s a complex state of emotions that don’t get the treatment it deserves; her lack of maturity hindering her from crossing the finish line: [LISTEN]

Inspired

Penning a ‘thank you’ letter to the old man. He’s her rock, an unmovable foundation that is built upon love. She’s pouring her heart out, and hoping that others will follow suit. Inspiration is the main focus, and she wants all her fans to listen to that voice whenever it makes itself heard. The sentiments are meek, and lacks energy. An overly simplified gesture that ends on a low note: [LISTEN]