She came in like a wrecking ball (and Lorde was the building)

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I think it's safe to say that people like Lorde. Cunning lyrics over sparing electro beats prove deadly, especially when paired with her sultry voice and promising age of almost-17. Whether it's through her suddenly omnipresent single, “Royals,” or her recently released album Pure Heroine, people enjoy Lorde, enough to push her to the top of the Canadian iTunes Album charts—

Oh, what is—?

She came in like a wreeeecking ball!

Miley Cyrus knocked Lorde off of her pointedly-not-upper-class throne last week with the release of Bangerz (Deluxe Version) on October 8. Moreover, her non-potty- mouth rendition trailed not too far behind, along with the normal version.

So, does this wrecking ball (I refuse to call her “twerker”; that's ancient, and still using that moniker is creepy at this point, old men!) blindly destroy, or is she indirectly paving the way for something new?

The album opens with “Adore You,” Cyrus singing about “holy matrimony”, and all things that awkwardly no longer apply to her life. (She and Hemsworth are no ms, in case you've been busy with actually important things beyond the celebrity doldrums.) The chilled pace rolls on through “We Can't Stop,” though you've probably heard it already. In terms of production, it's minimalist electronica. Lyrically? It's not lyrical, really. A party anthem. The I'm- Top-Party-Girl assertions speed up with the next track, where Britney Spears joins in, for the same purpose the rest of the featuring artists join in later on...

I'll let you know when I figure out what that purpose is. Cyrus handles the tracks perfectly well on her own and, when the features do appear every two or three songs, I'd argue that they detract more than they add.

The album continues along in a dualistic manner, constantly varying between two personalities. (Hannah Montana joke, anyone?) In terms of production: humming, slow tempos and upbeat bangerz, as it were; in terms of lyrics: partying, partying to crying, crying.

What's most intriguing about the whole effort is the production style, which, except for an anomalous 14th track on the deluxe version, truly unifies Bangerz and makes it feel like a genuine, honest album. Half Western film, half GameBoy Colour, Bangerz could possibly be the progenitor of a new genre. Lana Del Rey, but not so Americana and forced vintage. Lorde, but nowhere near as lyrical and minimal. Perhaps Skylar Grey's Don't Look Down meets Lights' Siberia.

Even though Cyrus herself had no part in the production of the songs and only (dubiously) cowrote all but two, she manages to present Bangerz as a united force. A united force inwardly polarized between partying, and searching the ground for pieces of shattered love — whether to stomp on or salvage them is a matter unique to each song.

Despite the jarring lyrical juxtaposition, it's consistent. She doesn't wander any further than those two poles of partying and ruing screwed-up love affairs, so you needn't expect much going into the album for a first time. Actually, it's best not to expect anything. Let it confuse you. The strange country-hip- hop-electronic shouldn't work, but it does — and, boy, does it work well when coupled with Cyrus' vocals. It seems she's gunning for the position of “Best Ex-Disney Singer” with Bangerz, harmonizing with bazooka-powered vocals in the background of main melodies. Big enough to, dare I say it, rival her ex-Disney sister, Demi Lovato.

But unlike Demi's eponymous and tepid electro-dubstep-pop album, nothing in Bangerz feels contrived, feels like its sole purpose is to be played on the radio over and over, a (lack of) quality that DEMI certainly brandishes. It's all believable. Once you've settled into the rhythmic rotations of the album by “Wrecking Ball,” track six, nothing will surprise you. Except, of course, the truly magical, soaring notes that you definitely will not be expecting in the later ballads.

All in all, it's well-produced. Great mixing, fascinating productions (if you're a lover of genre-blenders like myself) and surprisingly great vocals. The lyrical content is far from groundbreaking, but Cyrus was hardly aiming for Lorde's seat, even if she did inadvertently eject her. Bangerz is loud, emotional, breathless. I never thought I'd say this, but Miley Cyrus has come out with a good, solid album. It refuses to settle down — again, except for that weird 14th track — and constantly delivers; it feels good. Be sure to check out “Wrecking Ball,” “Drive,” and “FU” (featuring, unnecessarily, French Montana).