Released August 2009 by Hollywood Records.
It's no doubt that Miley Cyrus' single "Party In the USA" is a powerhouse. The good news here is that much of this brief EP of seven songs holds up to it. Cyrus is developing one of the more distinctive vocal instruments in current pop music, and her songs are turning slowly to reflective adult concerns. Consistent growth and improvement is the key here, and looks likely to turn Miley Cyrus into a long-term pop star.
Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly Work Their Magic
Lukasz Gottwald, aka Dr. Luke, has played a significant role in successful recordings by Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears. Now, along with more recent collaborator Claude Kelly, he is applying his skills to working with Miley Cryus. Once again a little musical magic has taken place. "Party In the USA" is her top artistic achievement so far being very effective in its combination of upbeat lyrics with a reflective, midtempo feel in the music. The other song the pair contribute to here, the title cut "Time Of Our Lives," is nearly as strong. The song encourages not worrying so much about the future and simply focusing on the present and having a good time together. It's a simple messsage delivered effectively.
Ballad Throwaways and the Jonas Brothers Collaboration
Serious Disney pop fans will want it, and it's no surprise a live recording of "Before the Storm" with the Jonas Brothers is included here. However, it and the two ballad songs, "When I Look At You" and "Obsessed," feel like throwaways. Miley Cyrus did have a big hit with the highly inspirational "The Climb," but the ballads here flush out the distinctiveness in her voice and simply feel ordinary. On the latter of the two new ballads Cyrus sounds more bored than truly obsessed.
Top Songs on 'Time Of Our Lives'
- "Kicking and Screaming"
- "Party In the USA"
- "Time Of Our Lives"
Miley Cyrus - The Voice Is the Key
The true key to Miley Cyrus' most arresting talent and distinctiveness is clearly her voice. If she chooses to use it, she has the potential to have a topflight rock voice. As she grows older the voice is stronger and the slightly gravelly element in her voice is very effective when she does get a slight rock turn like on segments of "Kicking and Screaming." However, the Disney pop machine files off any real ragged edges from the songs here. For now, midtempop pop tunes with the Miley Cyrus delivery are strong and effective, but, as she ages and matures, a rock Miley Cyrus would be a fascinating performer to hear.