Listen: Miley Cyrus is a ‘Wrecking Ball’ on emotional new single

If nothing else, Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” is true to its title.

The “We Can’t Stop” singer lays it on thick with the impassioned new power ballad (the second single off her forthcoming album “Bangerz”), which begins with a sparse keyboard arrangement and lovelorn lyrics (“We kissed, I fell/Under your spell/A love no one could deny/Don’t you ever say/I just walked away/I will always want you”) before cranking it up to 11 on the chorus, on which Cyrus laments, “I came in like a wrecking ball/I never hit so hard in love/All I wanted was to break your walls/All you ever did was break me.”

Serving as a sort of introspective counterpoint to decadent first single “We Can’t Stop” (which Cyrus is performing at tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards), “Wrecking Ball” is a blunt-force instrument of pop songcraft that could’ve easily been sung by Katy Perry – the current queen of screamy Top 40 heartbreak anthems – and in that sense it more than lives up to its central metaphor. But while the song is fine in its quieter moments, it’s so overwrought on the chorus that, like the tune’s narrator (who I’ll assume to be Cyrus herself), it tries to “force” its way in when it should have trusted its audience to get the message without being battered by it.

My grade for “Wrecking Ball”: D+. After giving it a listen, you can rate it for yourself at top left. Also, be sure and check out the official “Bangerz” album art below.

“Bangerz” is set for release on October 8.

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