Just as bold and brash as the title suggests, ‘ATTENTION: MILEY LIVE’ is a live album sure to stop you in your tracks. It serves as a reminder of just how many hits Miley Cyrus has blessed us with over her incredibly diverse career – acknowledging her squeaky clean girl-next-door roots, before transitioning into her more risqué club-filling anthems. Every track is given a fresh lick of paint, however; contrasting personas sit together perfectly, tied together by Cyrus’ rich country drawl. Cyrus’ mature vocals breathe new life into these older tracks, dragging them into the here-and-now and hinting at the trajectory she is setting herself up for in the future – that of a rockstar.
From the off, the message is clear: “ATTENTION”. This is an album that aims to be loud, impossible to ignore – and, due to Cyrus’ glorious stage presence, it really is quite a challenge not to sink into the excitement. In parts, the album would benefit from an added an extra layer of atmosphere (you just KNOW the crowd would have been screeching along to tracks like ‘Wrecking Ball’), but that in no way takes away from how magnificent Cyrus’ performance is. Honing in on Cyrus’ performance strips her bare, laying her abilities under the microscope – and, honestly, she doesn’t falter for a moment.
Cyrus’ voice is truly a force to be reckoned with, seamlessly fitting whatever genre Cyrus chooses to tackle. From the playful, country-hip-hop banger that is ‘4×4’, to rap-heavy ‘23’, to the bluesy, rich cover of Janis Joplin’s ‘Maybe’, it seems like Cyrus can fit into just about any genre she gets her paws on. At one point she smoothly moves into a cover of The Pixies’ ‘Where Is My Mind?’ mid-song, before smoothly moving back into ‘We Can’t Stop’. She’s truly a musical chameleon, able to shed her skin at the flip of a switch.
But what truly stands out the most: Cyrus seems to relish every era she steps into. From her impassioned rendition of Breakout’s ‘7 Things’, a track many teens would have screamed into their hairbrushes, to the no-fucks-given-pot-smoking cries of Bangerz’s ‘Dooo It!’, everything is delivered with love. There’s no denying that Cyrus has put her soul into everything she has released.
While ‘ATTENTION’ doesn’t quite take the time to honour any of Cyrus’ alter-ego Hannah Montana’s body of work, the Montana track ‘Rock Star’ springs to mind. Listening to her cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’, there’s no doubting that Cyrus has truly become a bona fide rockstar. This homage to her previous work highlights what was always lingering under the surface; ‘ATTENTION’ solidifies Cyrus’ credibility as a rock 'n' roll goddess, her charismatic swagger irresistibly branded upon each and every performance.
Words: Emily Swingle
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