Most helpful critical review
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Better, but still not good
on August 25, 2008
In my opinion "Breakout" was a major improvement over previous music recorded by Cyrus. There isn't a trace of Hannah Montana on this album which is a plus for me but I'm guessing will be a minus for others. The stupidity and shallowness of songs like "G.N.O (Girl's Night Out)" and "Let's Dance" disappeared too. Also a plus. I was glad to see at least an attempt at depth and meaning, which was more than previous albums had. There were even a couple of songs I actually liked ("Simple Song" and "Goodbye") even if there were others I couldn't stand ("7 Things", "Full Circle", "Bottom of the Ocean", and "Wake Up America".) The vocals were o.k, but most of the songs could've been a lot better had they been sung by someone with more vocal ability.
It really sounds like Disney wrote the song for her (It could've been written by the same person that wrote "What Time is It?" from HSM2). It's not unique at all. I could hear Demi Lovato or any other Disney diva doing the exact same song. There were also a number of little things I took issue with, such as "getting up at 8am's crazy." Around here students at the local public high school wake up around 6am to go to school. Most working adults have to wake up even earlier. Don't get me wrong, I hate it if I have to wake up any earlier than 9, but I don't call it crazy because I realize lots of people have to. Second, isn't Miley homeschooled? I thought I heard that somewhere. Third, the chorus takes place "after the bell rings" right? That would be in the middle of the afternoon, right? So why on earth do they have to "wake up everyone they know"? Fourth, why are they breaking hearts? Isn't this supposed to be a happy song? It just doesn't fit with the song, but it rhymes, so I guess that's good enough. Overall though, I'd say this was a good song to kick off the album. It's nice and upbeat, the kind of song that gets people excited. It's certainly not the worst song you're going to hear on the album, but certainly not the best either.
2. 7 Things--
I guess it's a creative idea for a song. That's the only good thing I can say about it. She shouts the chorus. The "sha"s are just plain stupid. And my biggest issue with this one is that I think it sets a bad example for all the little girls the look up to Miley as a role model. According to the first chorus this guy is vain, plays games, is insecure, likes other girls even though he's in a relationship, hangs out with a bunch of jerks and tends to act like them. In my mind, that makes him a total I.P.H (Insert Profanity Here). But Miley decides to go out with him anyway, and her reasons for doing so were pretty shallow: his hair, his eyes, his old levi's, and when they kiss, she's hypnotized. What kind of a message does that give to sed little girls? It's fine to date a total I.P.H as long as he's cute and is a good kisser. I kind of understand Miley's point though, that sometimes you love people who really don't deserve it. I wouldn't mind it as much if she wasn't trying to pass herself off as a role model.
3. The Driveway--
This one was a sad song, and Miley did a good job of expressing the sadness. It was very heartfelt, and it needed to be. I would've preferred if they hadn't used the echo-type effect that they did on her voice. The lyrics were good, also heartfelt although I didn't get the line "no disgrace about face" or what "the driveway" had to do with anything. It's about mourning the end of a relationship, and how "the driveway" was the end of the road. I think there's supposed to be some symbolism there, but I didn't get it. So far though, it's been the best song on "Breakout."
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun--
The new arrangement actually wasn't all that bad. I might've felt differently if I had gotten used to the original, but I never listened to the original enough for that to happen. I liked the strings. The problem is not the arrangement so much as Miley's voice. There's no doubt Cyndi Lauper could run circles around Miley in the vocal department. Miley cannot hit those high notes that Cyndi could but she tries anyway which makes the song unbearable at some points. There are so many other songs that would've been so much better for her to cover. I also just can't imagine Billy Ray asking her "What are you going to do with your life?" which subtracted from the authenticity the song had when Cyndi sang it.
5. Full Circle--
This song is obviously about a guy, but other than that I have no clue what she's singing about. I can't decide if he's an actual boyfriend, an ex, or just a crush. I don't know what it means to have your "heart like a wheel." I don't understand what "full circle" has to do with anything. It just sound like some random words thrown into the chorus to make it longer, as does "I can't jump the track." She's invented all these analogies that make no sense simply because she needed rhymes. In case you haven't noticed already, I hate it when people do that. I'm trying to say something positive about every song if I can though, so I guess I'll say that it has a catchy tune and is not that bad if you don't pay attention to the lyrics. But I do, so in my opinion it's bad.
6. Fly on the Wall--
This song was kind of fun to listen to at first but now I find it annoying. It's certainly like nothing Miley's ever done before. There's a weird effect on the voice again, which usually bugs me but on this song it works. I'm sure some Miley fans will hate this song and others will love it. It was not particularly creative lyricwise. She basically says "if you would stalk me, you would be better at flirting with me." (I think.) It was one of those songs where the second verse pretty much paraphrased what she said in the first, another thing songwriters do that bugs me. The bridge (where she says "a little communication" etc.) didn't really go with the rest of the song although she actually sang it rather well. Once again, not really the worst but certainly not the best.
7. Bottom of the Ocean--
Miley's voice sounds a lot better when there's lots of drums and guitar drowning her out. The "doo doo doo"s bugged me. When you doo doo doo as much as she did in this song it really makes me think you were just too lazy to come up with real words. Not only that, this song was just flat out boring. It could put someone to sleep. It's forgettable too, certainly not the catchy pop tune that's stuck in your head for days after you listen to it whether you like or not that we're used to hearing from Cyrus. To be positive, I will say it had good lyrics save for the doo doo doos.
8. Wake Up America--
Don't you love it how she says "I don't know what all this means" and then continues to preach to us about it anyway? I don't. I hate it. I hate how we're the ones that are supposed to spare several moments of our consideration when she's the one that doesn't even know what global warming is! We also once again have the dreaded "forced rhyme" (the rhyme that doesn't make sense but rhymes so therefore is in the song.) When she says "leading up to the final destination" (Wasn't that a horror movie about a roller coaster? And what does it have to do with sparing moments of consideration?) And then again when she says "Wake up, it's not a fire drill." (I could be wrong but I didn't think fire drills were usually events one was supposed to sleep through.) The only thing she got right was when she said "I know you don't want to hear it." You're right! We don't want to hear it! So shut up and let Al Gore give us crap about the environment on his own! Positive things... I really don't think there are any. At least none that aren't completely overwhelmed by negatives to be worth it. Oh well, I guess I'll give you one of them. Like "Full Circle," it was an o.k song as long as you ignore the lyrics.
9. These Four Walls--
Unlike the previous cover ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.") nothing in the arrangement was really all that different than the original version (sang by Cheyenne Kimball.) The only difference was the voice. I would say I preferred Cheyenne's voice on the softer verses (because Miley sang them through her nose) and Miley's voice on the chorus (because Cheyenne sounded like she had just inhaled helium.) Both girls sang it with a lot of feeling, which is %100 necessary on an emotional song like this. You know who would sing this song really well? Carrie Underwood. But that's besides the point. It's a country song, but I think Miley's voice works well on country music. Once again, a song that isn't like anything Miley's done before. I think it was a much better song for her to cover than "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." One thing I will say though is I'd like to see her sing this song live. I really don't think she'll be able to pull it off, or at least she wouldn't sound anything like she did on the studio recording. The song was good too, very well written (probably because Miley didn't write it.)
10. Simple Song--
This is without a doubt my favorite song on the album. It's well-written, well-sung, and pretty much everyone can identify with it. It has a sort of country-ish vibe but definitely more pop than "These Four Walls". I especially like the piano. It not only sounds beautiful, but also helps to make the song stand out from everything else on the album. If you're one of those people that's not enough of her fan to buy the album but does want to download a few songs from it, make this one of those songs.
Another beautiful song. It almost made me cry, but it didn't. It's very heartfelt and I really don't have anything bad to say about it. Another one you should download if you plan on downloading any "Breakout" songs.
12. See You Again (remix)--
It's basically the original with a few extra sound effects thrown in (but I guess that's pretty much what a remix is.) I actually like it better than the original but I do think they really only put it on here so they'd have an excuse to charge more money for the album. It really doesn't add anything. Obviously no one is going to buy the cd for a new version of an old song. I guess it doesn't really subtract anything either.
Miley did a lot of growing up on this album. On one hand, her older fans will like that she is catering more to them than the elementary school crowd, but on the other hand the elementary school crowd that fell in love with the Miley of previous albums won't be able to identify with "Breakout" at all. Maybe a few songs (the first and last tracks on this album, and pretty much nothing in between, except maybe the Cyndi Lauper song.) There's nothing wrong with that. She's supposed to grow up. To sum it all up, the songs got a lot better but the voice stayed the same. And it's really not that great a voice. I might be able to get over the not-that-great voice if she can come up with more songs like "Simple Song" and "Goodbye" and get rid of songs like "Full Circle" and "Wake Up America." I give it two stars out of five.