Miley Cyrus returns to her folk-influenced roots with “Malibu”

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The wait is over, pop fans. Miley Cyrus has unveiled her new look and sound with the official video for “Malibu,” which is sure to come as a surprise to fans who know the international starlet solely for her work on Bangerz. The days of crazy Miley are gone, but the version of Billy Ray’s brightest offspring we have now may be the best to date.

Telling of a day at the beach that changed everything, “Malibu” is a folk-influenced track perfectly constructed for maximum radio potential. Cyrus sings of how a day sitting by the ocean made her rethink her course in life, as well as the reason for her art. At one point in the latter half of the track she even addresses this idea directly with the line, “I never would have believed you if three years ago you told me I would be here writing this song.”

Cyrus has been flooding headlines since first announcing the release of “Malibu” earlier this month. The song has soundtrack to summer written all over it, as it is quite literally a celebration of how fun in the sun can make life better, but it will be curious to see whether or not the pop masses follow her change of direction. EDM-influenced sounds still dominate much of what audiences seem to demand from radio, as does hip-hop, but if anyone can make such a stark change and get away with it a star at Cyrus’ level would be the one to do it.

Regardless of quality, “Malibu” does make the entire Bangerz area seem like a weird fever dream. It was just a few short years ago that Cyrus was thrusting atop cars with hydraulics while wearing a sparkling onesies covered in marijuana leaves in front of sold out arenas, but you would never guess that listening to this song or by watching the video above. It will be interesting to see how, or perhaps if, Bangerz material is incorporated into future tours.

The Cyrus comeback machine is now in full swing. Expect more information on her plans for the remainder of 2017 soon.