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Released: 2023

Label: Columbia

Featuring: Brandi Carlile, Sia

The depths of pop music history will forever commemorate the daring reinvention of Miley Cyrus, and her album ‘Endless Summer Vacation’ is an embodiment of that metamorphosis. Released in 2023 by Columbia Records, this collection is a cornucopia of Cyrus’ bold and punchy pop sound, manifesting a galvanizing blend of her country roots, edgy pop persona, and psychedelic artistry.

The album comes laced with a plethora of aural gems; from the starry-eyed optimism of ‘Flowers’ to the soul-searching introspection in ‘Jaded’ and the deep nostalgia of ‘Used To Be Young’. The collaborations too are a treat, with the likes of Brandi Carlile stepping in for ‘Thousand Miles’ and Sia bringing an extra dose of eccentricity to ‘Muddy Feet’. Yet, at the core, the album remains a testament to Cyrus’ journey and her eclectic musical identity, concocting a captivating sonic landscape that is as much about exploring personal revelations as it is about pushing genre boundaries.

So let’s get into it. From ‘Flowers’ to ‘Flowers (Demo)’, here we are breaking down the album “Endless Summer Vacation” by Miley Cyrus.

1 Flowers

Miley, irrepressible as ever, triumphantly flips the script in lyrics dripping with indomitable spirit and fiery independence, asserting her ability to love and pamper herself after heartbreak. The jarring line, “I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / Say things you don’t understand,” is immensely powerful, painting a vivid picture of Miley’s defiant self-sufficiency. Yet, there’s also an undercurrent of reflection and acknowledgement of the painful rupture, echoing in the poignant confession, “I didn’t wanna leave you, I didn’t wanna fight.” It’s a raw, bittersweet tale of self-love emerging from the chrysalis of betrayal, marking “Flowers” as a potent standout on ‘Endless Summer Vacation’.

2 Jaded

The lyrics, laden with regret and a bitter aftertaste of love turned sour, create a compelling narrative. “Said goodbye forever, but you never unpacked / We went to hell, but we never came back,” Sidestepping the cheerful sun-drenched vibes often associated with Miley, “Jaded” navigates through the murky waters of a love that’s lost its spark. The imagery of a fading relationship in verses like “You’re not even willing to look at your part / You just jump in the car and head down to the bar ’til you’re blurry” speaks volumes of the lyrical depth Miley delivers. The refrain “I’m sorry that you’re jaded” is an unflinching acknowledgement of emotional scars left by an eroded relationship – a recurring theme of ‘Endless Summer Vacation’.

3 Rose Colored Lenses

“Never wanna leave this room… We could stay like this forever, lost in wonderland, with our head above the clouds,” she sings, encapsulating the intoxication of a love steeped in riding the crest of now and a summer that feels endless. The lyrics unfold a picturesque narrative, poignant enough to manifest a sense of longing to extend these moments of joy. Her words, like “drown me in your delight… wearin’ rose colored lenses… pretend we’ll never end,” invoke an irresistible impulse to hold on to moments of bliss, while the repeated refrain, “Let’s stay like this forever,” resonates like an anthem for eternal lovers.

4 Used To Be Young

It’s lyrics present an emotional narrative, casting a nostalgic glance on the phase of youth that’s now gone, hinting at Cyrus’s own personal evolution. The profound verse, “I know I used to be crazy, I know I used to be fun, You say I used to be wild, I say I used to be young,” speaks to the artist’s self-awareness. In grappling with the shifting sands of time and learned wisdom, Cyrus encapsulates the bittersweet truth of growing older – of leaving a heightened period of life. But, instead of mourning what once was, she acknowledges these changes as inevitable, leading her to be more grounded and at ease with her existence.

5 Thousand Miles

Features: Brandi Carlile

In one of the standout verses, Cyrus proclaims, “I’m not always right / But still I ain’t got time for what went wrong / Where I end up, I don’t really care / I’m out of my mind / But still I’m holding on like a rolling stone / A thousand miles from anywhere”. This line encapsulates a resolute spirit, capturing the essence of the song—escaping past mistakes and focusing on the journey ahead. It’s an anthem for embracing the chaos, the unexpected routes in life, a testament to Cyrus’ fearless approach towards artistry, veering away from her pop roots and experimenting with different textures of music and emotion. Unapologetically herself, she’s a rolling stone, a thousand miles from anywhere, finding her destination in the unexpected.

6 You

“I got some baggage, let’s do some damage / I am not made for no horsey and carriage.” This hard-hitting verse underscores her fierce independent spirit while revealing her readiness for a love that embraces her wild side. The laid-back refrain reiterates her sole condition: “But only if it’s with you.” Cyrus’ lyrics are a bold celebration of finding a love that not only meets you halfway but joins you in embracing the thrills of life. It’s love, Miley Cyrus style — reckless, free-spirited, and liberatingly loud. The robust articulation of her daring desires perfectly encapsulates the heart-throbbing honesty of pop music.

7 Handstand

The lyrics weave a rebellious narrative, showcasing Miley’s characteristic nerve and audacious spirit. An unflinching standout line, “You’re questioning the science ’cause you don’t understand, How I’m doing what I’m doing in a fucking handstand,” encapsulates the singer’s insubordinate bravado and dexterity to defy norms, leaving listeners in awe. Taking on a carefree, even cheeky persona, Cyrus pushes boundaries by celebrating her ability to challenge expectations, hinting at the irony of others’ incredulity. The lyrics also explore the complexity of relationships through candid, biting words – “We took it kinda fast, but you put it in slow, I see your mother’s calling, and you’re hitting ignore”. Balancing metaphor with stark honesty, the song brims with Miley’s infectious energy, speaking volumes about her indomitable spirit and making “Handstand” a rebellious pop anthem in ‘Endless Summer Vacation’.

8 River

Cyrus seamlessly intertwines metaphors of love and nature, drawing parallels between her partner and a river – relentless, ever-present, and beautifully overwhelming. “You’re just like a river, you go on forever,” she croons, a potent confession of her deep adoration. The lyrics evoke immense longing, echoed in lines like “Can you walk me through the park just to show it off?” where Cyrus seems desperate for this connection to be seen and celebrated. Her adulation knows no bounds with the emotionally charged plea, “Heart beats so loud that it’s drownin’ me out, you’re pourin’ down, baby, drown me out.” This song is Cyrus at her most vulnerable, inviting us into her intimate world of love and longing, all wrapped up in the guise of a catchy pop ballad.

9 Violet Chemistry

Shrouded in wistful nostalgia, Cyrus implores an unnamed lover to “Stay awhile, don’t deny the violet chemistry.” Drawing clear parallels to the fleeting nature of summer, Cyrus articulates a poignant, carpe diem sentiment, encapsulated in the lyric “May not be eternal, but nocturnal, nothing more.” This line underscores the bittersweet acknowledgment of the transitory nature of their bond. The repeated imagery of the wet floor and the persistent stereo serve as metaphors for a night drenched in shared memories and a soundtrack that reverberates beyond dawn. The playful yet profound lines, “Fingers start to dance along the figures and the shapes, Mixing all the colors like we’re making a Monet” furnishes a surrealist picture of creating art out of the chromatic spectrum of emotions evoked by their interaction, rendering it an integral component of the album’s emotional landscape.

10 Muddy Feet

Features: Sia

The track is deeply invested with Cyrus’s and Sia’s arresting vocals, by taking us along a journey of painful disentanglement. The explosive lines, “Get the fuck out of my house with that shit/Get the fuck out of my life with that shit,” makes it clear that Cyrus is done being trifled with. Miley’s frankness is her signature panache, underlined especially in, “You’re coming ’round with your muddy feet/I’m about to do something ’bout it.” Here, ‘muddy feet’ becomes a potent metaphor for an intrusive and disruptive presence, someone who’s tracked dirt into her life, one too many times. The song is a masterclass in the art of weaving personal anguish into universal appeal, showing why Cyrus is regarded a pop culture tour de force.

11 Wildcard

Cyrus croons, “Do you wanna play house? I could be your wife. Go and meet your mom in a dress too tight,” weaving a narrative that’s as risky and rebellious as it is tantalizing. Here, notions of domesticity are playfully subverted with a devil-may-care nonchalance that’s trademark Miley. A standout verse, “I walk in the door, with my lips stained red. Pillows on the floor and the flowers dead,” captures a masterful blend of love’s desire and dread. Yet, the dominant hook, “But don’t forget, baby, I’m a wildcard,” reiterates Cyrus’s lyrical genius, her identity as an unpredictable force, a free spirit intrinsically tied to her essence, not just as an artist, but also as a pop culture icon.

12 Island

Cyrus, pensively crooning “Am I stranded on an island? Or have I landed in paradise?” uses juxtaposition to probe at a deeper sentiment of confusion and existential questioning. Amidst lyrical vignettes of tranquility – painting toenails while soaking up the sea, the songstress subtly reveals longing in the absence of familiar clutter – “The only thing that’s missing here is you and our TV”. The repeated lines, “Mama told me, ‘Girl, smoke ’em if you got ’em”, suggests a complex emotional landscape where the protagonist is grappling with solitude and introspection. But, it’s the haunting confession, “But no one here needs nothing from me, and it’s kinda nice”, that truly anchors the song, serving as a poignant reflection on independence and the dichotomy of liberty and desolation in solitude.

13 Wonder Woman

She captures the essence of a woman who, despite being visibly strong and seemingly invincible, is also human. Cyrus masterfully echoes this in the line: “She’s a wonder woman / She knows what she likes / Never know she’s broken / Only when she cries”. The lyrics serve as a reminder that behind every strong facade often lies vulnerability and resilience. It is a potent and touching narrative about the complexities of strength and the human struggle to keep it all together, even when dancing alone in the dark. The repeated line, “She wants to be the one that never does”, underscores the intense pressure of maintaining a strong front. Cyrus’ “Wonder Woman” is a lyrical tribute to every woman who fights her battles alone, concealed by a polished veneer of strength.

14 Flowers

Building to the confessional climax, “Yeah, I can love me better than you can”, she underscores her determination to find self-worth independent of external validation. The verse, “We were good, we were gold / Kinda dream that can’t be sold / We were right ’til we weren’t / Built a home and watched it burn”, illustrates the emotional toll of romantic dissolution. However, she refracts these sentiments through her newfound capacity for self-love, affirming, “I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / Say things you don’t understand / I can take myself dancing / And I can hold my own hand”. The searing candor of Cyrus’ lyrics here deconstruct her personal evolution, framing self-affirmation as her pop ballad’s powerful refrain.

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