Just when Miley was looking like the sane one, she’s back with a new EP that’s sure to irritate everyone who’d hoped her writhing, wrecking-ball days were in the past. She Is Coming is an unkempt little EP that tries to cram her wild oeuvre, from molly to Mark Ronson, into just six songs. That said, you can’t deny Cyrus remains a freak of pop nature. Only she would tell the guys who just won Grammys and Oscars for “Shallow” to try their hand at lite, percussive trap. That’s just Miley being Miley. And she’s just getting started (two more EPs are scheduled for release later this year).
“Cattitude” is a return to gyrating glory, time-pegged for Pride. Cyrus cedes the nastiest lines to RuPaul, one of her biggest musical influences, who interpolates his 2014 “Sissy That Walk” while Cyrus echoes the rump-a-pum-pum of Missy Elliott’s “Work It” in the background. Together, this feline power couple eclipses the more forgettable collabs with Ghostface Killah and Swae Lee.
The pussy-power shifts gears with the minor-key head-banger, “Mother’s Daughter,” the chorus of which (“Don’t fuck with my freedom”) making for a catch-all resistance anthem Cyrus’ delivers with a perplexing amount of ennui. On that song, she also toys with our Pavlovian response to hearing Snap’s “I’ve Got The Power” by singing “she’s got the power,” but nothing like that electric shock of recognition ever arrives. On the other hand, in a song about preserving independence, there is something defiant and formidable about the idea that Cyrus would withhold gratification on her own song (fucking with our freedom, so to speak) just to prove a point.
Cyrus closes out with “The Most,” a song she wrote before marrying her husband, Liam Hemsworth. It’s an embattled marital ballad about the paradoxical rush of bewilderment and gratitude that comes from being loved. “All that you are is all I ever need / I don’t know why you still believe in me,” she sings, conflicted yet in awe, over a bed of crackling keys. The song sounds more like it’s from Tunnel of Love than Bangerz, but that’s because she’ll never stop experimenting with other people’s sounds. She can’t stop. Miley will always be Miley.