Top positive review
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She's still got Miles To Go, but for now, she's Breaking Out
on 16 February 2009
Forget the name, forget Hannah Montana, and forget the 'scandals'.
Just imagine this is the debut album of a 16-year old girl coming from Nashville, and you may just be in for a nice surprise.
1. Breakout - As the title track of the album, although most agree that this song is one of the weakest, it works extremely well in terms of bridging the gap from Hannah Montana music to this album. With upbeat lyrics about school and homework, this is perfect for younger fans, but also gives all fans a taste of what's to come. It should also be noted that this song was originally sung by one Katy Perry, who provides backup vocals throughout this record.
2. 7 Things - This was released as the first single from Breakout, and rightly so. With the smooth, melodic versus that suddenly switch to the rough, rockier chorus', this song surprises you both with it's tune and it's lyrics. Without looking too much into the story behind the song, it's clear just from the lyrics that the message is - sometimes you truly want to hate a person for both important and stupid reasons, but at the end of the day, you still can't help but love them. This is the true definition of a love/hate relationship, and is the perfect anthem for anyone who's ever felt like they hate their current or ex partners.
3. The Driveway - The transitions feels very much complete by this point. We're no longer listening to Disney's blonde bombshell, and this song really proves that. Although the lyrics are still about a teen romance (or the end of one), the lyrics are clever and we really get to Miley's wide vocal range. This song is one of my personal favourites on the album, and I'd recommend anyone who wants to hear it at it's best to type into youtube [Miley Cyrus - The Driveway live in Berlin]
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Covers are very rarely as good as the original, even less are actually better. When it comes to this particular cover, it's a lot like Marmite. You will either love it or hate it.
One thing is unarguably true - Miley has made this song her own, giving the well-known song a thoroughly modern feel, as well as speeding up the tempo - the result is that even if you hate this version, you cannot deny that it isn't a carbon copy of the original.
5. Full Circle - Undeniably catchy, with playful lyrics, this song isn't necessarily a stand out, but blends in nicely with the feel of the album, and brings back the hidden genre that keeps appearing on Breakout - country. In between the previous song and the next, Full Circle aims to keep the overall feel of the album fresh in your memory.
6. Fly On The Wall - One of my favourite tracks, this song puts a twist on the album, taking you in a different direction than you were expecting. With it's punk/rock influences, incredibly catchy tune and spunky, fresh lyrics, Fly On The Wall was completely the right choice for the second single off Breakout.
7. Bottom Of The Ocean - Now we're being taken in yet another direction. The first slow song on the album, Bottom Of The Ocean was supposedly written after the demise of a pet fish. The style of the song is simplistic, yet it speaks volumes. Just beautiful.
8. Wake Up America - You have to admire someone so young for trying to use their influence on youngsters to encourage them to be more 'green', and the tune works very well as an anthem. Unfortunately, the lyrics don't match, as many find this song either comes off as preaching, or just annoying. Still, they say you should write about subjects close to your heart.
9. Four Walls - One of the standout song on Breakout, Four Walls is another cover. It has to be said, although there are four songs on this album that are covers, Miley makes each of them different to the original somehow. In Four Walls, we truly see her as the country artist she naturally is. Her powerhouse voice bursts through the speakers with pure emotion and sincerity.
10. Simple Song - Another standout song. A cover of Jeffrey Steele's Simple Song about getting away from the sheer noise of everyday life, this song works perfectly with Miley's voice - it's the right blend of rock and country, allowing her to showcase her vocal talents whilst keeping that edginess.
11. Goodbye - A fan favourite, Goodbye is another slow song, about love lost, and the later regrets. The lyrics aren't as mature as those of some other songs on the album, but the message still rings loud and clear.
12. See You Again Remix - This is the version of See You Again that was released as a single in the UK. Though not as good as the original, this song still has instant hit written all over it, with it's electronic poppy beats, and the ridiculously addictive chorus.
This is a brief review of Breakout - the only way to really tell if you'll like it or not is to listen to it. However, the main problem I have with Breakout is that it's not a live album. Most Disney stars very much sound best when they're in the studio, where their voices can be altered to be as smooth as silk, but in Miley's case, even though there's very little editing to her voice on Breakout, it just doesn't compare to hearing/seeing her live performances. This girl was born to perform, and stands out a mile from most other musicians her age. Her voice is unique (sounding more like a 60-year old smoker, but in a good way), her performances jump out and grab you, and although 'Breakout' is mostly songs about the trials of being a teenager in and out of love, there are already hints of an exciting career as both a performer and song-writer.
So, I'd recommend this album to anyone who enjoys real Pop music, Country music, and those of you who just want to try something new.