Miley Cyrus’s New Album is Underwhelming

Titled “Endless Summer Vacation”

Micah Simms, Staff Writer

Over the past week, famed popstar Miley Cyrus released her eighth studio album and first body of work since 2020. The album is called “Endless Summer Vacation,” and it sure felt endless. 

Kid Harpoon and Mike Will Made It shared the production duties for this album. 

Throughout the album, they made attempts — with varying degrees of success — to create a fun, summery vibe with Cyrus’s vocals in the same way that she appropriated hip-hop music in the early 2010s. The sounds of contemporary indie pop influenced Miley. It sounded like a cheap imitation of bands like Tame Impala and Animal Collective with her chill, summery sound.

The first track on the tracklist is the lead single for the album, “Flowers.” The instrumentation of this song is painfully mediocre, with a barebones bassline, buried synth lines, and overly reverbed guitars. The mixing and mastering of this song could have been much better than what was here. Her vocals on this track are immaculate. Though they sound like a rip-off of early 2010s Lady Gaga, she does a great job appropriating an older style and did it naturally, especially on the hook. Having said that, however, the lyrics are atrocious. They are super cliche and uninteresting, and she does not do anything new here. 

Then we hit the first sign of filler on the album with the second track, “Jaded.” It’s passable but nothing too awful until we get to the third track, “Rose Colored Lenses.” This out of all the tracks is by far the worst. The mixing is god-awful, with Miley’s vocals being super loud compared to everything else in the mix. The hook is redundant and not earwormy enough, and this is a clear rip-off of dream pop bands like Cocteau Twin and Slowdive. It’s a terrible showing of bad ideas coming together and being executed.

“Thousand Miles,” another filler song, was perfectly mediocre up until the background vocals at the song’s conclusion. Which led to the best song of the album, “You.” It’s a country ballad about how she calls you in the song to express how she feels complete with this love. Her twangy vocals fit the sweetness of the song perfectly.

Then Cyrus decided to pad the length of this album with five more filler songs that range from fine to mediocre. These five tracks feel strange, as the southern vocals from “You” somehow weave their way into every single one of the tracks, with most of them being these synth pop tracks. They also feel like they can be trimmed shorter, especially the eleventh track “Island.”

Then the closing song comes in with a more stripped-down approach to the songwriting. Called “Wonder Woman,” the ballad is about how strong women are and can be. Her vocals are absolute bliss on this track. This is what she should have been going for on this album instead of phoning it in and making radio garbage. Which there is a place for, but there is so much potential going on here with these two ballads. 

All in all, this album was pretty mediocre, with some sparks of good ideas. Cyrus is an incredible ballad writer, but that is not the entire album, and there are a lot of flops or just filler. This led me to give this album a three out of 10-star review.