And here’s the thing: Bangerz isn’t all brash, despite the pro-party sentiments of first single “We Can’t Stop,” her now infamous VMA performance , or her stripped-down (in more ways than one) “Wrecking Ball” clip — not to mention the defiant streak she displays in her October 2 MTV documentary “Miley: The Movement.” In fact, based on these previews, it’s actually quite the opposite.
Take, for example, album opener “Adore You,” where Cyrus somberly sings, “Baby, are you listening?/ Wonderin’ where you’ve been all my life,” over plaintive pianos and softly shuffling drums. And then there’s “My Darlin’,” a slowly simmering, broken-heart ballad that features Future; and “Drive,” which details a decaying relationship over a cold, coiled electronic beat. They’re markedly mature efforts, suggesting that perhaps everything you think you know about Miley may be wrong.
Or maybe not. Because, like the title implies, there’s a whole lot than bangs and knocks on the album, too: Like “SMS,” where Cyrus raps coy kiss-offs to indecisive lovers over a roiling, raucous Mike WiLL beat — the 30-second snippet doesn’t feature Britney Spears’ contribution , sadly.
And “4×4,” which lives up to guest star Nelly ’s assessment that it’s “kind of a country/hip-hop/pop feel.” (It also finds Cyrus rapping about relieving herself.) “Love Money Party” covers those three topics rather succinctly, with Miley delivering sing-song lyrics, and “#Getitright,” produced by the omnipresent Pharrell, finds her belting over a beat similar to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
There are also some rebellious moments, like “FU,” where Cyrus plays the part of the jilted lover to the hilt, over a theatrical beat, and “Do My Thang,” her bid for a self-empowerment anthem. And from a look at the songwriting details, Miley and her production team are borrowing from some of the best: R&B great Ben E. King, songwriting icon Jerry Leiber and even Maureen McDonald (who sang backing vocals on her brother Michael’s smash hit “I Feep Forgettin’) are sampled on Bangerz.
Based on these sneak peeks, this is going to be an album that surprises plenty of folks, and proves that perhaps you’ve underestimated Miley up to this point. That’s all just conjecture, of course. … We’ll get the full picture when Bangerz is released on October 8.
Don’t miss “Miley: The Movement,” premiering Wednesday, October 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!