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Maturity No Substitute for Clearasil

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Hollywood Records

Once upon a time, Amelie Gillette of The Onion A.V. Club dismissed her intern’s gentle suggestion to include Miley Cyrus in The Tolerability Index. Everything associated with the Disney Channel seemed way below the radar of The Onion’s target demographics, despite the fact that stargazers have spotted The Sopranos cast members James Gandolfini and Steve Schirripa escorting their children to a New York Times talk featuring Ms. Cyrus and her achy breaky one-hit wonder father, Billy Ray. But things probably have changed at The Onion after the 15-year-old superstar stirred up controversy by baring her backside for Vanity Fair’s noted fashion photographer Annie Leibowitz, and the fact that Ms. Cyrus’s standalone debut album “Breakout” just debuted at No. 1 on Billboard.

People keep insisting that the little Ms. Cyrus/Hannah Montana is maturing, but the new album indicates otherwise. True, there are production numbers courtesy of Matthew Wilder of No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" fame. But let’s be real: Ms. Cyrus is still singing about “Every week's the same/Stuck in school, so lame” on the title track. Overall, the album boasts strong pop-rock productions and a serviceable vocal performance from Ms. Cyrus. In fact, the quality easily trumps efforts by any America Idol alumnus. But that’s not saying much, and “Breakout” is still utterly forgettable. It’s just harmless saccharine bubblegum sugar pop without any of that salacious troublemaking controversy seen on the cover of Vanity Fair.

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