Top critical review
The Climb of a wrong path
on June 8, 2016
This statement would've probably delighted miss Cyrus, but it truly feels like an other era where she was Hannah Montana. She's recently marked her tenth year anniversary in this business, but it certainly feels like another lifetime since she was known for being the fictional starlet and her persona was a world sensation (in more than one sense). Of course the public were wondering if Cyrus would've be able to step out of her Hannah persona gracefully. But it's not as her current, outrageous image is a complete surprise, though she sparsely hinted it during the time where Hannah was wrapping up (regardless of the flack she recieved for her sexual attempts at her teens, her current image certainly warrants it).
Released in the spring of 2009, The Climb was truly something of a transitional song for Miley Cyrus. It was the lead single for her "Hannah Montana The Movie" and frankly a song with a melody and a content that was more mature than her previous work. It was a song that was meant to be a transition to more adult material. So it's fair to state that The Climb was truly a departure for her. This semi-country power ballad had American Idol all written over it and was a huge hit for Cyrus, gaining her praise and respect. This ballad certainly gained a life of it's own. It's just too bad that it is one of Cyrus' weakest songs and one of the most overrated songs of the former decade.
The problem with the song is that it's given to the wrong singer and to the wrong content. The song was not specifically written for Hannah Montana The Movie, but still adjusted within it. But the problem is that it's aforementioned American Idol-vibes makes the song actually more suitable within that concept. Another problem is that the song, both melodically and lyrically, was at the time frankly too mature for both Miley and the movie. Being just in her midteens at the time, it certainly felt too deep and substantial for a youngster (without dismissing that teenage years being a dramatic and neglecting Miley's former traumatic events). The song was truly meant to be a epiphanic point in the movie and while the performance powerful in it's own merits, it frankly felt contrived in the movie. Despite the praiseworthy attempt to give the movie more substance and depth, this attempt was shoehorned in every single sense. It would've reasonated within a plot or a premise that would've been more harrowing or traumatic (or given to an artist with more substance and depth).
Another problem is simply how Miley's voice feels contrived here. It's not as she's completely out of her element, but she tries too hard to sing in a heartwrenching way, making the high notes too strained and forced. Cyrus is a talented singer and her voice definitively suites the country genre, but The Climb is never as adhered to the country as it wants to be. Miley was definitively in her midteens at the time and her voice had still not developed, which certainly proves it's limitations.
The third problem is how this ballad is produced to be way more sappier than it needs to be and in a way that it seems repulsing. To simply state it, the melody is frankly awful, tedious and not compelling at all. Especially in those parts right before the chorus. While the song builds up to be epiphanic as power ballads usually does, it's execution is simply unappealing. Considering my aforementioned remarks, the song actually made it's way as the winning theme for American Idol. And Joe McEldery's version of the song is a bit more tolerable. The lyrics themselves may not be as groundbreaking, but they fill the bill, more than the melody.
So The Climb may be one of Cyrus then-praised and beloved hits, but frankly it's her most overrated and overpraised song. It's frankly one of her worst songs. Regardless the stigma which labeled Miley for targeting to a certain demographic, it's fair to state that some of her songs with her own name could've been quite bloody awful, regardless of Miley being the one to blame or not ("Can't Be Tamed", "Fly On The Wall" or even recent stuff as "We Can't Stop"). This bad remark of mine certainly fueled a lot of hiss out of angry fanbase and while it's not meant to be an attack, The Climb truly is something of a misplaced song to a wrong artist.