Miley Cyrus – Breakout
Released July 22, 2008
Breakout might be Miley Cyrus’ most overlooked record by a long shot. Mostly everyone pays attention to the risqué nature of Can’t Be Tamed or the craziness of the Bangerz era. But even before that, we were brought the song “7 Things”, the lead single from Breakout, which became an instant hit and the video of which holds over 262 million views on YouTube. I remember the summer of 2008 so well specifically because that song was literally everywhere, from playing on the radio to my friends talking about it to parody videos on YouTube (do people still make those, by the way? Asking for a friend).
This album was pretty safe, to say the least. It talks about normal things any 16-year-old goes through including heartbreak and boyfriends, friends and finding out who you are. It even includes two cover songs, one being “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and the other “These Four Walls”. Regardless of it maybe not being the most original work, the effort and talent are all apparent. Let’s begin with the fact that she was probably fifteen years old when this was composed and recorded, was still doing Hanna Montana and co-wrote eight of the twelve tracks on the record. Cleary, she had a lot going on. Normally without having proper time to allot to making a record, most artists usually falter and put out something less than average.
Not with Miley, however.
Breakout showed to be a very cohesive, well written, mature and relatable record. All of the songs are on the pop/rock track which was the most common thing back in 2008, however, this one is more balanced than most records of this nature. Miley has some undeniably great vocals and they fit so well over the guitar and drum beats accompanied by pop melodies. “The Driveway” and “Full Circle” are both great examples of this and happen to be two of my favorite songs on here. “Simple Song” and “Bottom Of The Ocean” are more relaxed which provide a good break from the rest of the up-tempo tracks. Of the two cover tracks, “These Four Walls” is hands down the better one and really showcases Miley’s ridiculously high vocal range. There are also some very memorable lyric moments, most of which come from “7 Things” that I’m sure everyone still remembers to this day. The only two songs that really don’t live up to their potential are “Goodbye” and the title track “Breakout” which are just rather awkward and average songs. Especially the latter, which talks about how “school’s lame” and “getting up at 8AM is crazy”, just reminds me of seventh grade and that’s not something we need to think about right now.
By no means is this Miley Cyrus’ best work but it’s undeniably a spectacular starting point. Coming from such a young artist at the time and considering how much work she put into this, it deserves more recognition. The sophistication of this at the time and the nostalgia factor that it now holds all contribute to it being a memorable, if not timeless, record.