SHE IS COMING by Miley Cyrus // 5 Year Anniversary EP Review

is among the most liberated, bold, and empowered moments of Miley Cyrus' career. At the same time, it often feels like the lesser known and often overlooked project that she has ever released too. From the start, Miley has always been this sort of musical chameleon that is known to shift and change her entire image with each new album cycle. One of the reasons why this six song EP is so interesting is because it feels like a culmination of every style she has ever experimented with. SHE IS COMING was released in between two massive eras for Miley; right after her return to her country roots in 2017 and 2018 with Younger Now and her "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart" collaboration with Mark Ronson, but also right before her full transition into a 1980's glam rockstar in 2020. Since both of those records are massive highlights in her career, this brief in-between phase she was in with this EP has kind of turned into this hidden gem in Miley's discography. 

This was supposed to be the first of three EPs in the SHE IS series; SHE IS COMINGSHE IS HERESHE IS EVERYTHING, which was all to be compiled into one project called SHE IS Miley Cyrus. In 2019 Miley told Rolling Stone, "each drop is a different chapter to a trilogy" and they were slated to be released throughout the rest of the year. Unfortunately, that EP trilogy never came to fruition and the idea was eventually scrapped. The reasons for that are unknown, but it seems that it was probably creative differences with her label at the time, RCA Records. Miley did release what was initially meant to be the lead single for the second installment later that summer called "Slide Away", but nothing ever came of it. Instead, that song was eventually tacked onto this EP as a bonus track a few years later. The following year, she put out her follow-up album, Plastic Hearts, which was also her final release with RCA. It is likely that a lot of the songs that made it onto that album were meant to be on the other two parts of the trilogy of EPs but were just reworked into one separate project instead. 

This music sounds the most unapologetically Miley to me and I wish she would have spent more time in this brief era of her artistry. I would have loved to have seen her full vision come through with the EP trilogy because this is among the best work she has ever made. The majority of this EP was produced with Andrew Wyatt - a collaborator who I think really elevated her sound to new heights in their time working together. Parts of it are so wild, as all of Miley's best music is, but also truly is one of my favorite projects she has ever released. 

The opening song on SHE IS COMING is called "Mother's Daughter", which is very representative of who Miley is as an artist and her unwavering commitment to using her platform to stand up for what she believes in. It is a bold anthem of female empowerment, one that was very reflective of the political climate at the time. It was written in response to the United States restricting women's access to reproductive healthcare, which unfortunately has become even more relevant in the past five years. "Don't fuck with my freedom," is a particularly powerful line that is repeated over and over throughout the song. It reminds me so much of "Nightmare" by Halsey too, which is also one of my favorite songs she has ever made and coincidentally released just a couple of weeks prior to "Mother's Daughter" in 2019. There aren't many artists that would be this directly assertive and bold in their music, but I love that both Miley and Halsey always have been. Both songs serve as important examples of the power our voices hold in the difficult and dangerous times we are living through right now. 

"Mother's Daughter" is also largely a celebration of generational womanhood and the strength and resilience that is passed down from mother to daughter. I especially love the bridge, "My mama always told me that I'd make it, that I'd make it, so I made it". I also love the way the music video continues to highlight all of these themes of diversity and self-empowerment, while also fighting back against systemic issues and taboos.

This EP as a whole sounds like a reflection of the Bangerz era for Miley about five years later. That was a massive moment in her career at the time and very much symbolized a rebirth of the child star we all knew her as prior with Hannah Montana. She switched up her look and sound between 2013 with Bangerz and 2019 with SHE IS COMING quite a few times, but this EP feels like it's circling back to that time in her life with a more mature, clearer outlook on what she was put through in the media as a young adult. She, along with many other young female artists of that time, really were treated so unfairly in the press and didn't deserve all of the backlash they were getting. Miley was so massively criticized for having this wild, provocative, party girl image, and was largely made out to be so much worse than she was. There are quite a few times on this EP where Miley references that time in her life now that she has grown and matured, now able to be looking back on it in hindsight. On "Unholy", she fights back against the critics for their harshness over the years, "I'm sick of the faking, the using, the taking, the people calling me obscene, you hate me, you love me, you just wanna touch me, I'm only trying to get some peace," she sings in the pre-chorus. "So let me do me".

"D.R.E.A.M", which stands for "Drugs rule everything around me", also sounds like another post-Bangerz era reflection. Especially when comparing it to the fun and carefree energy of a song like "We Can't Stop" has, this shows the darker side to her reality with drug addiction and also serves as a commentary on L.A. party culture. Lyrics like "always last to leave the party" and "we're all tryna fill the lonely", feel the most telling of where her headspace was at in this time in her life. The title references Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M", but swaps out the cash for drugs in Miley's version. The end of the song even features a verse from Ghostface Killah, which comes kind of randomly at the end and doesn't fit the vibe of the rest of the song, but I still appreciate the sentiment. 

She also worked again with her main Bangerz collaborator, Mike WILL Made-It, on "Party Up The Street". This mid-tempo track with hip-hop influences sounds as if it may have even been an outtake from that album. The song features Swae Lee, but I actually wish it was it was just a solo track as they are really lacking any kind of vocal chemistry, which holds the song back a bit.

The mid-point of this EP brings a total switch-up from the rest of the songs. If we were talking about anyone else, I would say the fourth song "Cattitude" featuring RuPaul is one of the craziest songs Miley has ever made, but this is also the same person who made Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, so there may be a little more competition in that category than many others can say they have! She's been called a lot of things, but boring is never one of them to say the least! It's kind of so bad it's good if that makes sense? It's very campy and wild, with her and Ru rapping over a "Little Drummer Boy" type of beat. Parts of this song are so indictive of 2019 pop culture, that always take me back to the time it was released. Lyrics like "I'ma keep working from dawn to dusk, so I can keep buying cars off Elon Musk" and "I love you, Nicki, but I listen to Cardi" are two lines that stand out to me now as really funny pop culture time capsules in this music. I won't go too into detail on the rest of the song, you'll just have to listen for yourself to believe it, but I will say that love the ways he is so unapologetic in her approach to it. It's also really rare and cool that someone this mainstream would ever even make a song as crazy as this in the first place, Miley has never been one to hold back at all!

SHE IS COMING ends with an emotional ballad called "The Most", which is among the best performances of her entire career. It serves as such a great follow-up to "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart" from the year prior, which she collaborated with Mark Ronson for on both. I am still hoping one day they make a full album together because their work together has always been the greatest. On this song, she sings of the way she tends to hurt the people she loves the most in her life, for reasons she can't even explain herself. Despite that, the person she is singing to still loves her unconditionally. "Oh, and even in my darkest days, even in my lowest place, you love me the most and even when I can't stay, even when I run away, you love me the most," she sings in the chorus. In the outro Miley sings, "How many times have I left you in the deep? I don't know why you still believe in me". 

SHE IS COMING is such an underrated gem in Miley's catalog that is so underappreciated. Not only does it feature some of the best songs of her career, it also includes some of the best vocal performances yet too. Although this era of Miley's career was brief, it is such a fantastic example of her versatility and enduring confidence as an artist. 

If you are interested in downloading a copy of SHE IS COMING by Miley Cyrus*, I would really appreciate if you would do so through my affiliate link here*. This EP was never officially released on any physical formats, but I hope one day it will be! Shop more Miley Cyrus music here*

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! I would also love for you to check out my ten year anniversary album review of Bangerz and my review of Endless Summer Vacation. More are linked here here and below - many more are coming soon! 

-Melissa ♡

Photo Credit: Miley Cyrus, RCA Records, Gray Sorrenti

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