Miley Cyrus

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Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

Stifle those Clearasil jokes: The title of Miley Cyrus’s second album has everything to do with escaping the shadow of her flaxen-wigged alter ego, Hannah Montana. It’s a riskier move than you think. For proof, just look up the first single, “7 Things,” on iTunes, and count how many of the nearly 7,000 user reviews (as of this writing) dis the Avrilicious kiss-off song, despite its bouncy hook, neat twist ending and exuberant girl-power video.

Given that half its songs pertain to Cyrus’s achy, breaky heart, the disc could have been called Breakup. “The Driveway” is a weepy sequel to Cyrus’s best Hannah song, “If We Were a Movie,” while “Bottom of the Ocean” is a smooth-rolling bit of mid-’80s vinyl soul. Add a pedal-steel guitar to “These Four Walls,” and it would be the massive country smash that Cyrus will surely be making down the road.

The catchy title track and a punky cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” prove that not everything on Breakout revolves around the sorrows of young Miley. The singer’s ambition is clear, even on head-scratchers like “Fly on the Wall,” a bizarre collision of “Toxic” and “Don’t Cha,” and “Wake Up America,” the Legally Blonde of environmental-awareness songs. The most exciting thing about Breakout, though, is listening to Cyrus stretch as an expressive vocalist: a sure sign that she’s enjoying being her own girl for a change.

Miley Cyrus plays the Good Morning America concert series at Bryant Park Fri 18.

Breakout (Hollywood)

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