Megan made her debut with Outloud this summer, celebrating Miley Cyrus’ new album with her review of Endless Summer Vacation.
Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation Review
Miley Cyrus has created something truly spectacular with her new album, Endless Summer Vacation. Not only are the songs super catchy, she has seamlessly blended genres and created songs that are incredibly relatable.
Endless Summer Vacation Track list
3. Rose Colored Lenses
4. Thousand Miles (feat. Brandi Carlile)
8. Violet Chemistry
9. Muddy Feet (feat. Sia)
12. Wonder Woman
13. Flowers (Demo)
Cyrus says the album is split into two halves: AM and PM. In her documentary, Cyrus says that it was split this way:
“…to kind of almost represent an act. The AM tone is representing the morning time, where there’s a buzz and energy and there’s a potential of new possibilities. It’s a new day. At nighttime, it feels like there’s a slinky, seediness and kind of grime but a glamour at the same time. In the evening, it’s a great time for rest, it’s a time to recover. Or it’s a time to go out and experience the wild side. In LA, there’s a certain energy to the night and you can feel trouble boil up to the surface and it’s very inspiring to me.”
Endless Summer Vacation Review: AM
The first section, I think, resembles the AM feeling, containing softer melodic lines and lyrical elements. It starts with Flowers and Jaded which give a pop-rock feel. In both songs, there’s a real feeling of empowerment, but this is particularly prominent in Flowers. To me, Flowers could be seen as the next feminist anthem not only with the strong, independent lyrics she sings (‘I can love me better than you can’), but also with the music video. She is unapologetically herself in the way she dresses and moves, creating a real sense of empowerment and confidence in herself.
Rose Colored Lenses and Thousand Miles move away slightly from this rock-pop feel, and transition to a warmer feeling. Here the country element is brought in, particularly with Thousand Miles which features Brandi Carlile (my all-time favourite country artist). These two genres, rock-pop and country, are blended seamlessly, and with the lyrical content, I think, create that feeling of new possibilities the AM half of the album is representing.
You moves back to a contemporary pop and rock ballad feel. She sings of wanting a ‘for everlasting love’. This is sung passionately and with a feeling of intent, a feeling I think many can relate to: finding the one.
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Endless Summer Vacation Review: PM
It feels as though the next song brings about a sudden change in mood. Starting with synths and spoken word, Handstand moves us to the next section of the album. The subject matter, I feel, also changes. Although still about a relationship (and maybe losing that: ‘I wish I could know that it’s forever’), there’s a shift in the kind of relationship dynamic – one that leans heavily into sex.
This sexual dynamic continues into River. There is still a synth element to this song, but it feels more 80s – Madonna-esque is how I’d describe it, particularly in the verses.
Violet Chemistry continues with this feeling, perhaps with a slightly more dance element with the recurring drum pattern in the chorus. In terms of subject matter, there’s a continuation of the theme of relationships. To me, the relationship highlighted is a friends with benefits type of scenario, with lyrics such as, ‘we ain’t gotta talk baby, we’ll keep the stereo on’ and ‘may not be eternal but nocturnal, nothing more’.
Muddy Feet changes the feel again. It feels, to me, quite grunge like and like a big old “fuck you” song. The anger in her voice is evident as she sings: ‘I’m about to do something about it’. With reference to what her previous songs have eluded toward, this feels to me like she could be expressing the anger she felt regarding the ending of a relationship, or maybe the reason it ended.
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Wildcard brings the album back to a slightly more pop feel. ‘Loving you is never enough’ is a repeated lyric – her love was not enough in her relationship, something a lot of people I’m sure can relate to. Or, perhaps it refers to her feelings of wanting more from life, and loving someone, and maybe living a simple life just isn’t enough for her.
This feeling is still there in Island ‘but I’m still wishing for the love I don’t have’. Is being alone making her feel ‘stranded’ or in ‘paradise’. The song feels like an inner turmoil she has, whether that be in single life or in her chosen career: is it a feeling of freedom, or a feeling of loneliness?
The final song (if we discount the demo version of Flowers), Wonder Woman, changes the whole tone of the album. Before, the album lended itself to a break-up album. But as we hear Wonder Woman, it is no longer about that, but how strong women are and can be.
Cyrus has achieved a great feat with this album. She has combined all parts of her and her musical career (as she says in her documentary) and created an album that is an amazing blending of genres. There is really something for everyone in this album, from every stage of her musical journey. Lyrically, she also creates words that can mean so many different things for different people, but at the same time are so clear. She has, in my eyes (and ears), created the ultimate power album – one that can allow for relatability in more ways than one.