Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' boring and laughable

Miley Cyrus album cover for Bangerz. (Handout)

Miley Cyrus album cover for Bangerz. (Handout)

Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:48 PM ET

Well, colour me shocked. But not for the reason you expect.

Based on Miley Cyrus's recent antics, I assumed her first post-Hannah Montana disc would be provocative and prurient -- the musical equivalent of semi-nude selfies and late-night sexting.

But Bangerz turns out to be something I never would have anticipated: Boring and bumbling -- a repetitive and uninspired glob of claptrap, cliches, laughable posturing and half-formed ideas slapped together like homework she cribbed off the Internet.

Basically, it's an album with more problems than Cyrus herself (and that's saying something). Chief among them:

Not enough bangers for your buck.

Amazingly, despite its club-friendly handle -- and Cyrus's musical shift from teen-pop to southern hip-hop and retro synth-pop -- this is no high-energy twerkathon. It's a sluggish slog, divided between midtempo jams and overwrought ballads. Cyrus even opens the disc with the soaring yearner Adore You (supposedly about ex Liam Hemsworth). It's likely meant to showcase her newfound depth and maturity. It really shows she doesn't know how to sequence an album.

Songs that aren't songs.

Cuts like SMS (Bangerz) and Do My Thang raise the bpms, but barely make the musical grade. They're ditties at best -- brainlessly simple and mindlessly monotonous, often built around one-finger melodies and sing-songy gibberish. Take this immortal couplet from the illiterate Love Money Party: "Party ain't nothing but a party, when you party every day, it ain't nothing but a party." You can't argue with that -- because it's drivel. And don't count on the production to save the day; despite the presence of hitmakers including Pharrell, Mike Will, will.i.am and Dr. Luke, these underwhelming, sparse cuts seem more like bedroom demos than fully fleshed studio fare. Maybe they thought less would be more. They were wrong.

Cut-and-paste creativity.

Bangerz does have decent moments. Pity most of them feel too familiar. There's the refrain of the anthemic We Can't Stop, which basically updates Leslie Gore's It's My Party. The slinky Blurred Lines-like beat that Pharrell dishes up in 4X4. The chorus of My Darlin' that mines Ben E. King's Stand by Me (rightly, its composers get songwriting credit). Finally, there's an '80s vibe on much of the disc, from the Push It synths of SMS to the cheeseball Miami Vice graphics. Thankfully, there is no Philip Michael Thomas cameo.

LOL lyrics.

Like most kids, Cyrus seems desperate to come off as grownup, sexy and streetwise. And fails. To get a guy into bed she asks: "Don't you think it's time to get it on?" Then comes the puppy-love overshare: "We're meant to be in holy matrimony," she springs on the dude. No wonder she's soon cursing him childishly: "I got two letters for you -- One of them is F and the other one is U." But she can drop all the F-bombs and drug references she wants (and Bangerz has plenty of both); lyrics like this prove she's still an overgrown teen. You almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

The wrong role model.

I'm not talking about her parents (let's face it: When you see your daughter grinding against Robin Thicke's crotch on TV, you have failed). Truth is, the more you listen to Bangerz, the clearer it becomes that Cyrus wants to be Rihanna. But Miley is no RiRi. She doesn't have the experience, the attitude, or even the pipes. And no matter how much she tries to ape Rihanna's man-eating swagger, Cyrus comes off as what she is: A meagrely talented child star with major growing pains. A self-entitled brat who lives in a bubble and has nothing to say. And ultimately, a shallow fame addict who knows the simplest way to get attention is to porn it up in public. If she ever puts her tongue back in her face and writes a truly original song, then I'll really be shocked.

1 star out of 5

darryl.sterdan@sunmedia.ca


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