The Bottom Line
There's nothing wrong here, but there's nothing particularly spectacular either. Hollywood Records is looking for a cross-format smash in both pop and country, and perhaps they will have it. However, Miley Cyrus' teen pop anthems "7 Things" and "See You Again" are ultimately more memorable than "The Climb." This is all a bit too American Idol.
- Miley's solid, clear vocals
- Uplifting, inspirational lyrics
- Standard issue ballad arrangement
- Written by Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe
- Produced by John Shanks
- Released February 2009 by Hollywood Records
Guide Review - Miley Cyrus - "The Climb"
"The Climb" is the first single from the soundtrack to Miley Cyrus' upcoming big screen film Hannah Montana: The Movie. It is her first solo song to be marketed directly to country radio as well as pop radio. However, the distinction between what is country and what is pop has rarely been as fuzzy as it is here. It was no accident to have Miley perform with Taylor Swift at this year's Grammy Awards. The single "Ready, Set, Don't Go" performed with her father Billy Ray Cyrus introduced Miley Cyrus to country audiences. The performance with Taylor Swift was signaling she really wants to be taken seriously in the country world.
Ultimately, however, "The Climb" is a rather standard pop power ballad. Veteran producer John Shanks (Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Ashlee Simpson) puts together a sound that builds from solo piano through chiming electric guitars in an arrangement highly reminiscent of TV talent show American Idol. The song, written by country songwriters Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe, sounds like it might be one given to an American Idol finalist to sing in the finale, too. Perhaps it will show up in next year's Hollywood Week.
Miley Cyrus is really at her best given an upbeat, peppy pop tune that she can throw her youthful energy into with full force. Country and adult contemporary fans will be hearing more of Miley with this tune, but her core fans will be looking for the next "7 Things."