Review: ‘Endless Summer Vacation’ portrays heartbreak and reclaimed power


Miley Cyrus released “Endless Summer Vacation,” her eight studio album, on March 10.

By now, most people either can’t get enough of, or can’t escape, the cultural takeover “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus had over the past few months. Her first single off her new album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” was an instant hit, becoming the most streamed song in a single week with over 96 million streams.

The mix of a title like “Endless Summer Vacation” and the power she is reclaiming through her songs makes me yearn for the days that I am no longer stuck in a classroom with my eyes glued to my laptop.

Literal and figurative descriptions of her messy and public divorce with actor Liam Hemsworth can be found throughout the entire album. While “Flowers” was everywhere months before the rest of the album, the demo was a new version released a few weeks later. Here, the upbeat track is taken out, and a new level of pain and loneliness is added. Instead of a positive, hopeful and powerful track, the demo becomes something a bit pitiful.

I feel that this demo leans more toward the uncertainty that lies within divorce, and she had to convince herself of her worth as she was singing the first verse. Later on, she finds her spark and confidence and truly believes the words, which is easily heard through her impressive vocals.

The line “We built a home and watched it burn,” from “Flowers” can be easily recognized as a reference to their home that was burnt down due to forest fires in 2018. Shortly after this tragic event, their separation was announced.

“Muddy Feet,” which features Sia, compares her relationship to an uninvited visitor dragging mud through her house. The line “I’ma have to do something about it,” shows control over the situation.

The song “Wildcard” starts with the line “Do you wanna play house? I could be your wife / Go and meet your mom in a dress too tight / Maybe I could stay and not break your heart / But don’t forget, baby, I’m a wildcard.”

Her rebellious rockstar persona seemed to clash with her ex-husband’s sweet and charming personality, which can be assumed to be the reason for divorce. Instead of choosing to be someone she isn’t, she chose to leave and live as who she is, a power that is felt throughout the album.

While listening, I considered “You,” to be a momentary feeling of heartbreak in an otherwise uplifting album. Listing everything she wants to do with “you,” including dancing, late nights, smoking cigars and getting kicked out of bars. While a beautiful love song, it feels like a break from pretending to be fully recovered. Real emotions are let out, and it seems to be the emotional breakdown moment that many break up albums have.

“Wonder Woman” was written after Cyrus’ grandmother passed away, according to Spotify’s song storyline. The strength she saw from her mother after this tragic event helped shape Cyrus into the strong woman she is today, pushing the narrative of women supporting women.

“Endless Summer Vacation” is a fun and empowering breakup album that I can’t wait to scream along to in the car with the windows down.

Rating: 9/10

Best songs: “Flowers”, “You” and “Rose Colored Lenses”

Skips: “Violet Chemistry” and “Thousand Miles”