The name Miley Cyrus tends to conjure groans and eye rolls from most people these days, and with good reason. Miley has spent her early twenties shocking the world with her outrageous behavior, shockingly sexually explicit performances, and outspoken, in your face politics. To be honest, most people (me included) just couldn’t stand her new persona. We found ourselves asking, “What happen to the sweet girl from Tennessee?”
I was older by the time the Hannah Montana craze hit the scene, but my kid sister absolutely adored the show and her music, and therefore I was forced to sit through several episodes during that time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing the show, I just wasn’t interested in it because I wasn’t a little girl/preteen. That being said, I had no issue with Miley and she seemed to be on the right track when it came to making her career work. I also didn’t blame her for wanting to break out of the Hannah Montana mold that everyone tried to encase her in and try new things. I actually liked her Can’t Be Tamed record……. But sadly, things took a very drastic, shocking turn. The last few years have found Miley doing or saying one shocking thing after another. She seemed to have spiraled right out of control, but even then, I can’t say that I hated her like some did/do. I felt sorry for her. I can’t imagine dealing with the pressures of fame at such a young age (or really at all!). I believe Miley was desperately trying to find herself and figure out who she truly is. I think she was a very confused person, maybe still is. I don’t know what’s going on in her mind, but I do see this new song and era as a turning point for her.
“Malibu” seems to be marking a shift in Miley’s career. While promoting the new single, Miley has stated that she has been sober for a number of months now and that she wants to reach out to the people who find her a bit scary, particularly the country music crowd. She seems to have found some healing and is in the process of getting her act together. The most asseverating thing about the train wreck that was Miley Cyrus, is the fact that she CAN actually SING. She has a beautiful voice and she’s also a good songwriter in her own right. There was really no need for the drastic tactics Miley resorted to.
Let’s get to the song: “Malibu” is so incredibly refreshing. It’s a simple but unique song that is structured differently than the usual formula. A lot of people are saying this is Miley Cyrus going Country…… Guys, this isn’t a country song. It’s a pop song with a dialed back production featuring an acoustic guitar. Don’t get me wrong, I’d actually be very interested in a country record from Miley, but this isn’t it. There’s something very warm and soothing about this song, much like a lazy day on the beach. I’ve had it on repeat since I downloaded it. “Malibu” is a simple yet beautiful love song. It’s about finding contentment and peace in her relationship, and I think, ultimately her life. She’s growing and maturing.
“Malibu” has made me interested in the full album, which has yet to be named. I look forward to hearing more from this Miley. ;)
I know I’m slow to the bandwagon for Lauren Daigle, having only discovered her music after seeing her perform with Reba McEntire on the ACMs in April. Since then, I’ve learned that Daigle is a Christian singer-songwriter from Louisiana who is signed to the Centricity Music label and has won 2 Billboard Music awards and 6 Dove awards. Daigle released her first full-length record, How Can it Be, in April of 2015, which went on to achieve Gold Record status. Though the album was released in 2015, it took me a year to discover it, but now that I have, I can’t stop listening!
How Can It Be is without a doubt the best contemporary Christian/Worship record I’ve found. Now I’ve been a Christian for years, but never got into Christian music until recently (I was raised on Country music). I’ve been wading through the Christian genre and trying to find great albums that don’t sound/feel cheesy, because let’s just be honest, a great deal of the contemporary Christian music out there is a bit fluffy and cheesy. To me the music just didn’t sound real or substantial… But I’ve been blessed to have found a lot of great gospel records through the country music scene and am now starting finding great Christian records (clearly I just wasn’t looking in the right places!).
Lauren Daigle’s How Can It Be is absolutely top-notch. The production is uplifting and perfectly fits each song, the lyrics are substantial and original, and Lauren’s vocals are beautiful and convincing. This is a record that can stand the test of time. I’ve used it as a sound track for when I’m in the car to when I’m writing to working out. It’s an album that can truly live with you and one that has a permanent place on my “favorite records” playlist. I’m constantly going back to it to the point where it has been pretty much on repeat since I downloaded it a few months ago.
As much as I’d love to go into detail and talk about each song, I’m afraid that that would make this post too long for the average reader… Therefore I will share my five favorite songs on the record. These songs are my “go-to” songs, they speak to me in ways that the others (although great songs in their own right) don’t.
2) “How Can It Be” is an absolutely stunning praise song, one that will make you want to lift your hands up high and sing from your heart. The song opens with “I am guilty/ Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become/ These hands are dirty/ I dare not lift them up to the Holy one” and then goes into the truly beautiful truths, “You plead my cause/ You right my wrongs/ You break my chains/ You overcome/ You gave your life/ To give me mine/ You say that I am free/ How can it be”. There’s a reason this song won 2 Dove awards.
3) “Here’s My Heart” could be used as a prayer, and I admit to using lines from the song in my own prayers. This song is such a simple but beautiful and powerful song, one that you sing deep from your soul.
4) “O’ Lord” is another uplifting praise song that’ll get your hands in the air. This song pumps up your heart and soul with the truth of God’s love and faithfulness. The verses “I will stand my ground where hope can be found”, and the chorus, “O'Lord, O'Lord I know You hear my cry/ Your love is lifting me above all the lies/ No matter what I face this I know in time/ You'll take all that is wrong and make it right”, are particularly uplifting and soul soothing.
5) “I Am Yours” is my favorite song on the record. Its truth just speaks to my soul. I had a rough last few years and the song’s chorus, “So let the waters rise/ I will stand as the oceans roar/ Let the earth shake beneath me/ Let the mountains fall/ You are God over the storm/ And I am Yours”, acts as a warm balm to a banged up soul.
I HIGHLY recommend this record. Grab it here https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/how-can-it-be/id971504391