It’s been four years since Miley Cyrus swung butt naked into our consciousness with all the eroticism of a half-cut construction worker. Post-Wrecking Ball, the 24-year-old has continued on her image-shifting mission, despite some questionable twerking and her pysch-pop Dead Petz project, wiping away lingering memories of the innocent Disney years that kick-started her career. Her sixth album supposedly marks another change of trajectory, leaving behind her recent rap fixation and drug-fuelled shenanigans with the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne to return to her pop-tinged Nashville roots.
Rainbowland, an upbeat duet with country legend Dolly Parton, would support that theory if it weren’t so lightweight and aimless. The rustic Miss You So Much and the plaintive I Would Die For You fair far better, the doleful acoustic tones allowing the powerful huskiness of Cyrus’ vocals to shine through. Younger Now may be Cyrus searching for her true identity but the contrived country-pop moments have stripped away her personality, leaving something far more generic than perhaps intended.