Dissecting Miley Cyrus’s “Endless Summer Vacation”


Miley Cyrus’ eighth studio album, which released this past March, showcases her musical progression. (Courtesy of Twitter)

On March 10, Miley Cyrus released her eighth studio album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” a mature, pop-rock collection of passionately curated songs featuring iconic collaborators Brandi Carlile and Sia. Immediately following the album’s release, adoring fans celebrated and circulated the album’s top songs via social media. Aside from my childhood obsession with “Hannah Montana,” I would not consider myself an avid Miley Cyrus fan. However, the immense popularity of the new song “Flowers,” which seemingly appeared every time I opened up my TikTok feed, garnered my attention to listen to the entire album. Since listening to the album, I have discovered a newfound appreciation for Cyrus and her craft for intertwining creative, emotionally charged messages within her music to create influential and impactful art. 

The album’s sequencing is intriguing and engaging for the listener as there is a wide variety of both fast-paced and slow songs, which all correspond with the emotional messages threaded throughout the album. In curating the album, Cyrus decided to split the album into two sections: day and night. Whereas the day portion of the album aligns with the energetic, fast-rhythm songs, the night portion of the album corresponds with slower-paced, tranquil songs that tug at the listener’s heartstrings. By sequencing the album in this creative way, Cyrus crafted an emotionally powerful piece that encompasses all of the emotions that an individual experiences in a typical day.

Cyrus starts the day portion of the album with the most popular song, “Flowers,” a zestful song with a catchy chorus. Cyrus released the lead single on Jan. 13 and “Flowers” topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for six weeks. Although Cyrus has not publicly admitted that any of her songs are addressed toward her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, many lyrics throughout the album are centered around the idea of breaking up, moving on and reclaiming yourself. Notably, Cyrus released “Flowers” on Hemsworth’s birthday. 

Cyrus’s work has progressed throughout the years, and each album she releases becomes more mature as she has made it a long way since her career started as a Disney star. This album is no exception. In crafting this album, Cyrus successfully incorporates meaningful, deep, heavy lyrics that tell a unique story. Regarding the breakup concept, the “Hannah Montana” alum highlights the importance of moving on rather than focusing on a failed relationship. Evidently, the idea of self-love is intertwined throughout many lyrics, such as “I can buy myself flowers” and “I can hold my own hand” from the single. 

While most of the album is centered around self-love and getting over a breakup, the artist also touches on other heavy topics. The fourth track of the album, “A Thousand Miles,” features Carlile as a song about sisterhood. After one of Cyrus’ closest friends lost her sister to suicide, Cyrus was inspired to write a song conveying the happiness and joy that her sister brings into her life. In this instance, Cyrus was able to take suicide, a dire issue in today’s society, and connect it with the joy that comes from her own relationship with her sister. 

Throughout the album, Cyrus effectively showcases her talent for deriving inspiration from her own personal experiences and turning these experiences into empowering storytelling. The album encompasses a wide range of genuine human emotions to create well-balanced, sophisticated art that everyone can relate to. After listening to all of “Endless Summer Vacation” and experiencing the depth, authenticity and sheer inspiration that went into this album, I look forward to what Cyrus will create next.