The Hardest Part Review
Some families seem destined for greatness. Their names are synonymous with success and excellence, and yet, this very success can cause towering expectations for younger members of the family. The Cyrus family has certainly solidified a prominent spot for themselves in the music industry, with Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley Cyrus both being major stars in their own respective genres. The massive success of her father and sister and growing up in the spotlight have undoubtedly left high expectations for the youngest child of the family, Noah Cyrus. After releasing singles for the past 6 years, Cyrus has released her long-awaited debut album, “The Hardest Part.”
Noah Cyrus carves out a unique place for herself in music, paying homage to her roots while simultaneously creating a modern and accessible sound. She takes her father’s country chops and her sister’s pop prowess, and seamlessly combines the two to create a sound that is her own, reminiscent of indie pop. The 34-minute runtime leaves very little room for filler, although there are some weaker songs on the album. Despite this, the album is well done, with mature themes of substance abuse and failed relationships that are more impressive given the singer is only 22 years old.
The album’s best song is undoubtedly “Every Beginning Ends,” a call and response duet that leans into the country influences of the album. A pair of lovers realize they are falling out of love over the weeping strains of a guitar. The song perfectly encapsulates the maturity and emotion that permeate the rest of the album, and is destined to be a jukebox favorite of the lonesome and brokenhearted.
The album’s closer, “Loretta’s Song,” is an excellent tribute to Cyrus’ grandmother, and “Mr. Percocet” tackles substance abuse.
Some of the songs are not as poignant or catchy as their counterparts on the album, and the short runtime accentuates this weakness. They are not bad songs, but just feel weak juxtaposed with the album’s standouts. Short albums are difficult to pull off, and Noah Cyrus nearly pulls it off seamlessly.
Because her musical career dates back to 2016, this album does not feel like a debut for Noah Cyrus. Nonetheless, it is the sound of an artist finding their way and their voice, carving out a distinct place in music for themselves while still paying homage to their roots. An excellent, short album, Noah Cyrus’ long awaited debut is well worth the listen.
4.5 stars out of 5