If you’ve watched Miley Cyrus over the years, you’ve probably seen a talented, troubled, multifaceted young woman learn about herself in the public eye.
It hasn’t always been easy to watch. And the crit hasn’t always been easy for Cyrus to hear.
Now, I don’t live with cameras following my every move, waiting for me to mess up. And, let’s be honest, it’d be quite stressful. We’ve all made mistakes, we’ve all done things we regret—but the majority of us don’t have to rewatch it all like some kind of nightmare.
But Miley has. And people haven’t always been very nice.
Now, all the people that have given Miley lip have it coming to them in her new musical venture. The first of three planned EP’s, SHE IS COMING is a mix of pop, rap, rock and trap. Stylistially, it’s quite different and shows off Miley’s talent. But lyrically…wow.
This EP is filled with huge problems. Three of its six songs are loaded with explicit language. Multiple songs include references to sex and one is downright pornographic. Miley mentions a plethora of drugs and drinking…and, unfortunately, none of it is enough to balance out the rare glimpses of sweet we see.
I wish this album had more songs like “The Most”—a heartfelt song dedicated to the one, presumably her husband, who loves her through her best and worst. Miley knows she’s hurt her spouse (“How many times have I left you in the deep?”). But he continues to care for her (“Oh and even at my darkest days/Even in my lowest place/You love me the most”) and she marvels at this fact (“All that you are is all I ever need/I don’t know why you still believe in me”).
Miley is OK with being real in “Unholy.” Although her honesty can be jarring, Miley reminds us that none of us are squeaky clean.
Miley explicitly pushes back on haters in “Mother’s Daughter.” Miley embraces the negative things people say about her (“I’m nasty, I’m evil/…I’m a witch”), proudly boasts about her wild side (“Hallelujah, I’m a freak, I’m a freak”), declares she won’t be trampled on (“Don’t f— with my freedom/…Swish swish, mother—er”) and alludes to sex (“Every day of the week, I’ma do ya, like I want ya”).
“D.R.E.A.M (Drugs Ruled Everything Around Me)” seems to say that this is a past-tense lifestyle for Miley; that she used substances to “fill the lonely” and escape from a troubled reality. But many of her lyrics contradict the title. She mentions having sex multiple times (“You’re in my bed uninvited/It’s fine ‘cause I’m in the mood/…We’ll be f—ing on the red eye flight”) and talks about heavy drinking and doing drugs in the seeming present (“Get the Ghost, raise a toast, pop the Molly”).
“Cattitude,” featuring vocal snippets from drag queen RuPaul, might be one of the nastiest songs Miley has ever made, and that’s her point. This track focuses on Miley’s anatomy (“I love my p—-, that means I got cattitude”) and pornographic, explicit forms of sexual activity that are too graphic to detail here. Additionally, Miley brags about all she can buy (“I’ma keep working from dawn to dusk/So I can keep buying cars off Elon Musk”) and her flagrant disregard for anyone else’s opinion (“If you don’t feel what I’m saying, I don’t f— with you”).
“Party Up The Street” is a summer jam that focuses on a party and the activities that happen there “after dark.” Miley (paired with vocal performances from Swae Lee and Mike WiLL Made-It) sings: “The way that you’re moving your body on my knee/Soon as I put it on you, you wanna go at me/We didn’t come this close for nothing.”
In “Unholy” Miley drinks (“I’m a little drunk, I know it”), smokes marijuana (“I’ma get high as h—”) and has sex (“Have sex on the table with the take out”). Lines from Ghostface Killah further glorify drug use (“Purple, Percs, sticky green, Molly/Sippy lean”).
I had a hard time listening to this album. For a few, fleeting moments I wanted to root for Miley (especially in her last song, dedicated to her hubby), but most of her lyrics made it impossible to do so.
Miley glorifies drug use, graphically deals with sexual content, throws around a lot of f-words and embraces her wild side. It’s like her “Wrecking Ball” moments have come back to obliterate the surprising positives from her previous album (Younger Now) and any sense that she might be breaking away from those times.
But she doesn’t seem to be. I guess her next few EP’s will tell us if the themes on SHE IS COMING will be redeemed or reinforced.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).