Miley Cyrus is back on top. A decade after Bangerz achieved blockbuster success and sent the former child star on a weirdo odyssey involving the Flaming Lips, she’s got a #1 smash in “Flowers,” her biggest hit since “Wrecking Ball.”
“Flowers” leads off Endless Summer Vacation, the follow-up to 2020’s eminently solid rock-tinged Plastic Hearts. The new album trades out its predecessor’s sound for something more like a country-tinged MOR genre-meld, then ventures into trippy electronics, dance-pop, and hip-hop-adjacent soul. Cyrus worked on large chunks of Endless Summer Vacation with Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, two architects of Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, which makes sense given the stylish yet mall-ready palette she landed on here.
Also in the credits are Adele/Beck/Foo Fighters/Kelly Clarkson producer Greg Kurstin on “Jaded” and indie refractor BJ Burton, who helmed transformative albums for Low and Bon Iver, on “Island.” The triumvirate of James Blake, Sia, and Mike Will Made-It convenes on “Violet Chemistry.” (Mike Will, who worked closely with Cyrus on Bangerz, is involved on several other tracks too.) “Handstand” was co-written by Spring Breakers filmmaker Harmony Korine, creating one degree of separation between Cyrus and the late David Berman. Brandi Carlile duets with Miley on “Thousand Miles,” while Sia sings on the trap-infused retro-futuristic soul track “Muddy Feet,” my pick to become the album’s next hit.
Stream Endless Summer Vacation below.
Endless Summer Vacation is out now on Columbia.