Before we launch into this review, I just want to make this clear. Younger Now was a solid album and I liked it. That album was unnescarily and unfairly hated. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s break down She Is Coming.
She Is Coming is the first installment of three six-song EPs that will make up Miley’s seventh studio album. On first listen, She Is Coming fits nicely between Bangerz and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. Gone are the gentle guitar strums and contemplations of the days of innocence on Younger Now; On She Is Coming Miley blends the hip-hop influence of Bangerz with the lucid dreaminess of Dead Petz and the pop/rock of her earlier records.
The opening track “Mother’s Daughter” is the clear standout of the six. A grungy mixture of rock and trap, “Mother’s Daughter” is a holy proclamation of Miley’s confidence and freakiness. This is quite literally a perfect pop song. The melody of the chorus is perfect for radio, the refrain offers ample space for Miley to whip out her upper register vocals, and the verses are filled with swagger. Miley’s proven that she is a great songwriter, so lyrically, the verses are a bit underwhelming. Nevertheless, the overall construction and production of the track more than makes up for it. In short, “Mother’s Daughter” is one of the best songs of the year so far.
“Unholy” follows “Mother’s Daughter,” and although it isn’t as arresting as the former track, it does have a quiet charm. There’s a folk music element in Miley’s vocal delivery on the hook which beautifully offsets the glittery trap production. The beat stutters and sparkles behind Miley’s grimy lyricism; her “unholiness” is desperate, melancholy, and for her, necessary. On Bangerz Miley was the endlessly fun queen of the party, but on She Is Coming she is wiser and more mature than ever before.
One of the most impressive elements of Coming, is how seamlessly the tracks blend into one another. There’s pop balladry (“The Most”), drag-influenced EDM-pop (“Cattitude”); and a blend of alternative hip-hop and indie pop (“D.R.E.A.M” and “Party Up The Street”). Despite the breadth of musical genres that are covered, the transitions are incredibly smooth. D.R.E.AM.,” which features Ghostface Killah, and “Party Up The Street,” which features Swae Lee, are two sides of the same musical coin. They are both dreamy drugged-up hip-hop/pop odes to the murkiness and uncertainty of partying. There’s a soft hurt and dreariness underneath both tracks; Miley strikes a careful emotional chord that is just marvelous.
“Cattitude,” on the other hand, may be one of the worst songs ever recorded. The song, a collaboration with RuPaul, attempts to be an empowerment anthem, but ultimately falls flat. It’s not campy enough to be fun, and it’s not good enough to take seriously. “Cattitude” sounds like a 2012 Azealia Banks reject, which is a shame because Miley is capable of so much more. If the production evolved into a lighter house beat, the track could have been a bit better, but this is just not good. Thankfully, the closing track, “The Most” is a solid mid-tempo ballad that gives us a final reminder of Miley’s vocal prowess and her ability to write a truly great love song.
Key Tracks: “Mother’s Daughter”; “The Most”; “D.R.E.A.M.”