Miley Cyrus’ uneven ‘She is Coming’ EP explores sex, drugs and Nicki Minaj shade

Miley Cyrus’ uneven ‘She is Coming’ EP explores sex, drugs and Nicki Minaj shade


At first glance, Miley Cyrus racks up the accomplishments with her new “She Is Coming” EP.

“She Is Coming,” which was released Friday, is the first of three planned EPs for the 26-year-old singer. It’s six songs long and plenty substantial with three big-name collaborations adding additional heft to the project.

“D.R.E.A.M. (Drugs Rule Everything Around Me)” samples the Wu-Tang Clan’s classic “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rule Everything Around Me)” and features two of the group’s members, Ghostface Killah contributing a verse and RZA producing the track. The mellow “Party Up the Street” recruits Swae Lee to sing alongside Cyrus and is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It. And RuPaul joins Cyrus on the pouty “Cattitude” to throw some well-meaning shade, telling Cyrus, “You better go take your country (expletive) indoors and put some damn clothes on ‘cause don’t nobody need to be seeing all of that.”

All these components — plus the druggy anthem “Unholy,” the empowering “Mother’s Daughter” and the soaring “The Most” — culminate in a project that’s more representative of the many sides of Cyrus than any of her career’s other releases. Here, listeners get the hip-hop production that Cyrus has flirted with over the last decade alongside big-voiced pop ballads, paeans to drug use and glimpses of the female empowerment, pro-LGBT persona she’s grown into more recently.

So why isn’t “She Is Coming” more of an enjoyable listen? On paper, the EP is the perfect Cyrus release. But after a few listens, it’s difficult to muster enthusiasm for any of its specific songs, which fall short of her career’s previous highlights. “She Is Coming” may show off the many facets of Cyrus as an artist, but it’s largely an emotionless listen. It’s a shame considering many of Cyrus’ best moments as an artist were the ones with the most feeling — the euphoria of “Party in the USA” and “We Can’t Stop,” the heartbreak of “Wrecking Ball,” the intimacy of “Adore You” and her “Don’t Dream It’s Over” cover, or her clear-eyed anthem to change, “Younger Now.”

Instead, “She Is Coming” largely offers cheaper thrills, like hearing Cyrus winkingly co-sign Cardi B at the expense of Nicki Minaj on “Cattitude,” or sing about copulating on top of takeout containers on “Unholy.” “The Most” is an exception, a genuinely moving track that has more in common with her country-adjacent 2017 album “Younger Now” than any of the EP’s other inclusions. It seems meaningful that of the many musical inclinations she explores on “She Is Coming,” Cyrus shines brightest when there’s a little twang involved.

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