“Endless Summer Vacation,” Miley Cyrus (Sony Music)
Miley Cyrus’ hit “Flowers” made even those in a stable relationship sing out loud with conviction. Now, her latest album “Endless Summer Vacation” — released Friday — is much more than a break-up anthem; it’s a rebirth.
While spring alone seems still so far away, Cyrus’ new album feels like a hot summer day.
Starting with the chart-topping “Flowers,” she bids farewell to an old love and begins with contagious confidence and independence.
“Yeah, I can love me better than you can,” she sings.
As the sun gets brighter it’s time to wear “Rose Colored Lenses.” The third track is an upbeat but still mellow song, overflowing with sexy and loving lyrics: “We could stay like this forever, lost in wonderland/With our heads about the clouds, falling stupid like we’re kids/Wearing rose colored lenses.”
The album features two collaboration tracks: One of them, “Thousand Miles” sees the artist singing alongside Americana star Brandi Carlile, while the second, “Muddy Feet,” is with pop artist Sia.
“Thousand Miles” is infused with Carlile’s folk style, a familiar place for Cyrus, whose legacy includes “Achy Breaky Heart” dad Billy Ray Cyrus and her godmother and country legend, Dolly Parton.
The day leaves space for the night, and the album gets racier and dirtier, kicking off the evening with “River.”
“I feel you everywhere. Your face is all in my hair/Covered up in your sweat. It turns me on that you care, baby,” she sings.
Like the artist, Miley Cyrus’ albums can’t be put into a box. In fact, the singer likes to experiment with different sounds and genres over her more than a half-dozen records.
“Violet Chemistry” is a pop song with electrifying dance notes, a worthy soundtrack for a nightclub dancefloor under neon lights.
“When the floor is wet. And the lights come on, but you don’t wanna leave,” she sings in a celebration of a passionate summer fling one hopes will never end.
As the sky gets soaked in a ruby sunrise, high heels are carelessly in hand to allow for a more comfortable barefoot walk home, in solitude.
“Am I stranded on an island? Or have I landed in paradise?” she sings in “Island,” a song about her isolation being a blessing in disguise.
Finally, the album ends where it began, with a melancholic unplugged demo version of “Flowers” flipping the confident opening on its head to create a sad, soulful coda: to the listeners, and to Miley’s old loves.