Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation


I think we’re officially in the era of Miley Cyrus and it’s a good time to be in. Opening the year with the monster track “Flowers” – not only was it her first song to top Billboard Hot 100, but it was her first to casually rip apart records held by her contemporaries along the way – she branded 2023 the year of Endless Summer Vacation.

As the owner of the first runaway hit of the year, she knows that all eyes will be on her to deliver. Did she disappoint?

When you hit play on the album, you’re hit by a wave of nostalgia when “Flowers” comes on – yes, it’s not been that long since its release but we’ve heard it on the streets and the radio so many times it’s beginning to feel as if it’s been a part of our lives forever. If you’re the dancing type and if you’re in a suitable location to get up and dance, you definitely do that, or you just sit where you are and nod and smile.

However, when “Jaded” comes on, it kills the energy that the album started off with and if you’re ever hit by a wave of recollections inspired by the song, it’s certainly not the happy ones. “I don’t wanna call and talk too long / I know it was wrong, but never said I was sorry / Now I’ve had time to think it over / We’re much older and the bone’s too big to bury,” she sings in the first verse about a relationship a lover ruins but will never admit they did. She isn’t looking back on “Jaded” feeling sorry for herself, instead the only part there’s regret is when she’s feeling it for her former lover: “you’re lonely now and I hate it.”

“Rose Colored Lenses” introduces us to a love that’s so perfect that given any control of her lover, she would let them “stay like this forever, lost in wonderland,” and “A Thousand Miles” featuring Brandi Carlile, pleads that she shouldn’t have to always have an explanation for all of her actions. When we get to “You,” it’s the first we hear a track that could have easily belonged on her rock-inspired last album Plastic Hearts and of course, she lists all the bad girl things she wants to do, but only if she gets to do it with her lover.

“Handstand” continues with this lovely feeling of enjoying the world with someone you love by your side, as she reminisces, “We met each other on the neon dinghy / Past the manta rays and palm trees / Glowing creatures beam down from great heights / Electric eels and red venom.” Like the songs before it, she sings about wishing the experience could last forever. “I wish I could crawl inside your heart / Take you captive and then sail away / I wish I could know that it’s forever/Take me captive and then sail away.”

So far, apart from “Jaded,” Cyrus is on the road with her lover doing all sorts of wonderful things she wishes could have lasted forever.

Accompanied by a black-and-white music video that more than does service to the song, “River” – the second single from the album – is the perfect song to sing and dance along to as the April showers come pouring down.

“Violet Chemistry” continues filling us with this fantasy of meeting and having a wild time with someone that makes every one of your wrong decisions right. Unlike the other tracks, she isn’t looking forward to this spark lasting forever, as she sings, “There’s something between us that’s too major to ignore / May not be eternal, but nocturnal, nothing more.”

“Muddy Feet,” featuring Sia, pauses our Endless Summer Vacation to kick out an unfaithful lover, hinting it in lines like: “You smell like perfume that I didn’t purchase / Now I know why you’ve been closing the curtains,” and “You’re coming around / With your muddy feet / I’m about to do some ’bout it.”

“Wildcard” warns her next lover that she may not be the “forever” love they’re looking for, “Island” is a song that celebrates being alone, even though she sometimes questions whether it’s an island or paradise, and “Wonder Woman” is the perfect closure to an album that tore us from self-love to go on the perfect vacation with a lover you kick out in the end because, metaphorically, they drag dirt all over your house.

Apart from the track listing being a little curious, the 12 songs really deliver on the Endless Summer Vacation vibe.