Released: 11th May 2017.
After 2010's failed attempt at rebranding herself as a legitimate adult pop star (commercially moreso than quality-wise), and 2013's foray into the 'wild' world of hip/hop and R&B (accompanied by a slew of controversial music videos and provocative, twerk-heavy live performances), Miley Cyrus returns to familiar territory on "Malibu," a country-tinged, light-rock trip of Disney-friendly-pop mellowness.
Here, Cyrus laments about how her rekindled romance with Liam Hemsworth has recentred her values - she's remembered now to appreciate the simpler treasures in life, chief of which are peace of mind, a "free as the wind" level of independence, and that ever-complex, ever-fluid phenomenon of love.
Whilst "Malibu" certainly feels more genuine than some songs from Cyrus's 'Bangerz' era, it does lack the excitement and energy of her best ballads ("The Climb," "Stay") but the song's breeziness is an equally powerful charm, and this should go down as one of her best singles. A solid precursor to the main event projected to come this fall, "Malibu" is hopefully indicative of a more pop-leaning LP from the best Disney graduate of the last decade.