The 17 best and 17 worst Miley Cyrus songs of all time

 The American singer, songwriter, and actress Miley Cyrus, 28 might have the most varied and experimental discography among today’s top artists.

However, tracks like Cattitude, , and Dooo It! are embarrassing entries in Cyrus catalog.

As I wrote for Insider s first-listen review of this album, Gimme What I Want threads glitchy and near-spooky effects into Cyrus new punky persona.

With its rubbery bassline and fuzzy beat, it almost gives me Leave My Body by Florence + The Machine vibes.

Paired with some deliciously demanding and self-empowered lyrics Gimme what I want or I ll give it to myself acts as the perfect thesis for Plastic Hearts , this song might be Cyrus most convincing self-portrait yet.

Insider s music editor, Courteney Larocca, immediately crowned High as the best song on Plastic Hearts.

If you only have time for one, make it this one, she wrote. Sure, your understanding of the album s sonic landscape would be completely skewed, but it d be worth it — this is the project s fragile heart, masked by all the thunderous I don t care beats around it.

It has inflections of Malibu, shades of Cyrus Hannah Montana years, and shards of glass from the wreckage of her real-life heartbreak that deceptively glitter and sparkle as they pierce right into you.

Song highlight: Sometimes I stay up all night Cause you don t ever talk to me in my dreams.

Slide Away is Cyrus Thank U, Next. It sees her addressing a very public breakup without sounding bitter or vindictive. Instead, the song crystallizes personal growth and acceptance.

Naturally, Cyrus sounds amazing; her voice soars without sounding pushed, slithers without sounding small. The production is gorgeous and woozy, like sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool and gazing up at filtered sunshine.

Song highlight: Move on, we re not I m not who I used to be You say that everything changed You re right, we re grown now.

Mother’s Daughter conveys a powerful feminist message, but cleverly avoids feeling trite or insincere.

Mother’s Daughter was released as the lead single, Miley CyrusYouTube

The stylish production is sprinkled with screeches and frizzles, like a rebellious computer program. The twinkly refrain that flows through the song is a triumph. The lyrics are unabashedly bold and so satisfying to scream. The bridge is one of her best ever: a quiet moment of feminist reverence.

True, Cyrus can t help ruining things, just a little: the swish, swish motherf—er ad-lib at the song s close is very unnecessary. But everything that precedes is so good, she earned herself a small bump of cringe.

Song highlight: Hallelujah, I m a freak, I m a freak, hallelujah is such an iconic way to begin a song — especially for Cyrus, who s been accused of freakishness more than once or twice.

Malibu is an outlier among Cyrus best songs, a tier that typically favors darker textures, towering vocals, off-kilter production quirks, or her famous devil-may-care attitude.

The only shock is that there s no shock, Jon Pareles noted for the New York Times after the song s release. The new Miley Cyrus single, written by Ms. Cyrus herself, is as nice as can be.

Song highlight: The upbeat guitar riff and husky kick drum that swoop in mid-chorus. Simply divine.

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is too often maligned, largely thanks to Dooo It! — an aberration for an artist who s usually fantastic at selecting singles — and Cyrus questionable style during this era.

Despite the album s numerous drug references, it s not her highs, but rather her lows that make Dead Petz interesting. Cyrus explores disappointment and insecurity in an unrefined, disarming way. Something About Space Dude epitomizes that very strength.

As Rolling Stone s Rob Sheffield wrote in his review, Something About Space Dude is the real killer here — an aching acoustic sex ballad about a Bowie boy who isn t even there, leaving her to sob, I want to be there skateboarding in a space dude s evil lair.

Song highlight: We all know that Cyrus loves to belt, but she uses her voice in such a different and fresh way on this song. She adopts an airy, eerie tone — enhanced by an echo effect — sounding like a cute-girl ghost with unfinished business on earth.

No one else could make a song like BB Talk work. It s bizarre, shameless about how bizarre it is — and, in Cyrus hands, deeply entertaining.

The other pop girls wish they could sing a lyric like F— me so you stop baby-talking and actually pull it off.

Song highlight: The spoken-word verses should sound cheesy, but they don t. They just sound true. Look, I like when you send me, you know, the queen emoji. Same!

Insider previously named Wrecking Ball the rd best song of the s. It made Cyrus a legend, almost single-handedly. And she hadn t even turned yet.

It speaks to the singer s power that an emotional breakup ballad could cause such frenzied devotion — especially in her post-Robin Thicke spotlight, amid all the ways she was mistrusted and mocked in the media. Ultimately, Cyrus passion, artistry, and talent manage to shine through the noise.

Song highlight: The little feminine swoop in Cyrus voice during the verses We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain , contrasted with her subtle growl as she tears into the chorus.

Bangerz sounds best when it leans more pop than hip-hop, and #GETITRIGHT is a classic example. It s the most fun song on an album that s absolutely stuffed with fun songs.

As Jason Lipshutz noted in his Billboard review, Pharrell Williams deserves plenty of credit here.

In , way before his Blurred Lines Get Lucky resurgence, Pharrell Williams added two mid-track list standouts to a pair of high-profile pop albums, Usher s Looking Myself Twisted and Adam Lambert s Trespassing Kickin In , he wrote.

The producer does the exact same thing on Bangerz with Get It Right, a stylish breeze defined by whistling — yes, whistling — and a chopped guitar lick. Cyrus sounds absolutely in love with the vibe here, as she should.

Song highlight: The outro doubles down on the song s delightful absurdity, acting as the cherry on top.

From the moment you hear Cyrus scream-snarl on that opening line Ohhhh, you BROKE my heart , you know you re in for a wild ride.

FU is frantic and absolutely euphoric in its rage; the song s about section on Genius calls it a waltzy, electro-soul thrasher, which is just perfect.

This is one of the finest bitter-breakup anthems of our time. I highly recommend blasting FU in the car if you ever feel wronged by a man, and especially if you catch your fiancé texting flirty things to some girl.

Song highlight: I don t really have much to say she claims, in the midst of ripping this guy to actual shreds. Sure you don t, Miley!

Maybe You re Right is rivaled only by Wrecking Ball as the most stirring emotional moment on Bangerz.

The album runs the heartbreak gamut, featuring moments of denial, devastation, fury, and plenty of post-breakup ragers.

You could hardly accuse pixie-haired, tongue-wielding, -year-old Cyrus of being insecure or second-guessing her path, so the central lyric of this song truly feels like a sucker punch: You might think I m crazy That I m lost and foolish leaving you behind, she fumes before admitting, Maybe you re right.

But the bridge seizes those same doubts, those same fears, and twists them until they become triumphant: This chapter s done, Cyrus declares. Moving on up and forward onto all that will become.

Can t Be Tamed combines campy lyrics, an electro-pop Lady Gaga hook, and big Piece of Me energy — which is perfect for an artist who once said, I only want one b—- on my record and that s Britney, b—-.

This maximalist romp easily could ve been a disaster, but -year-old Cyrus managed to sell it with her bratty theatrics and fallen-angel attitude. Little did we know, it would set the tone for her entire career.

Song highlight: I m not a mistake, I m not a fake, it s set in my DNA. Ain t that the truth.

Sir Isaac Newton was only when he discovered the law of gravity, but Miley Cyrus was only when she invented patriotism.

There s a reason this song resurges on the charts every year, whether on July or after the country receives good news. It s youth and moxie and celebration bottled; it s dancing your troubles away made literal. Most importantly, it s a perpetual staple on any party playlist.

Song highlight: Without Cyrus hopping off a plane at LAX with a dream and her cardigan, would Taylor Swift have ever written the Grammy-nominated hit song Cardigan ? We can only speculate.

The Climb was released as the lead single from the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack on March , . Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Even though Cyrus is the credited performer for The Climb, not Hannah Montana, it s still the most accessible, gratifying, and memorable product of the fictional pop star s legacy.

The Climb is certainly the best song on any Disney Channel soundtrack. With or without the blonde wig, it s a vocal and emotional tour de force.

Of course, nostalgia plays a factor here, but I feel certain that Cyrus could release this song today — or perform it on late-night TV, perhaps — and it would still slap.

Things and Forever & Always are neck-and-neck for the title of best breakup song inspired by a Jonas Brother.

Indeed, Things upholds the glorious tradition of artists like Swift, Avril Lavigne, and Fiona Apple. There are few things more satisfying than scream-singing the feelings of an angry teenage girl.

The song works because Cyrus goes all in, delivering her petty grievances with bite and charisma.

This might be seen as a left-field selection, but it s not. East Northumberland High is probably the best song on either side of Hannah Montana Meet Miley Cyrus.

The lyrics are curiously, delightfully specific: You re my type of guy, I guess, Cyrus shrugs, if I was stuck in East Northumberland High for the rest of my life. Her apathetic mockery is simply devastating.

Just because I liked you back then It doesn t mean I like you now, she continues, her eye-roll nearly audible.

The bouncy drumbeat and elastic-sounding electric guitars underscore Cyrus attitude perfectly. This song just works on every level.

Song highlight: Northumberland is an insane word to throw into the chorus of a pop song, but Cyrus makes it sound natural.

See You Again was released as the lead single from Meet Miley Cyrus on December , . BBCRadioVEVOYouTube

Cyrus updated rendition of See You Again proves that she managed to infuse even her earliest, most commercially driven projects with her punky taste and pouty personality. She s just being Miley, after all.

The song s smoldering beat and moody guitar riffs are impressively modern; Cyrus vocals are subtle and mature. See You Again holds up to this day.

In fact, the acoustic, twangy version she performed in would ve been the best song on Younger Now.

Song highlight: The chorus reference to my best friend Lesley probably refers to Cyrus real-life pal Lesley Patterson, but I like to think it s a sneaky reference to Hannah Montana stud Jake Ryan — who reveals in a moment of teenage-boy vulnerability that his real name is Leslie.

Of the six songs on Cyrus eclectic She Is Coming, as Idolator s Mike Nied wrote, Cattitude is her most glaring stumble.

But the song isn t just the worst of the small bunch — it s downright unlistenable. I previously named it one of the nine worst songs of .

Worst offense: I ma keep working from dawn to dusk So I can keep buying cars off Elon Musk is capitalist nonsense.

Saving grace: In the intro, RuPaul tells Cyrus, go take your country-ass indoors. She should ve listened and stopped the song right there.

There are few things I dislike more than slandering our coronavirus vaccine-funding country queen, but this song just wasn t worth her time. It s somehow both forgettable and exhausting.

Worst offense: Writing a song called Rainbowland is such a cute concept, but the potential of that image goes largely unexplored. The lyrics are shockingly dull and extremely repetitive.

Ideally, an album s final track is a powerful statement of purpose or an emotional gut-punch. Inspired tries to be both and fails twice. It s too snoozy to be powerful and too mushy to be emotionally effective.

Worst offense: Cyrus has described this song as a new, older version of The Climb — which, you know, how dare she?

Dooo It! was premiered as a promotional single from Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz on August , . Miley CyrusYouTube

The world actually got a little worse when Cyrus released Dooo It! — and it got even worse worse when she decided to perform it at the VMAs and make it the face of Dead Petz.

Worst offense: I can t even fathom how many people decided not to give Dead Petz a chance as soon as they heard Yeah I smoke pot, yeah I love peace.

Dead Petz has songs. Cyrus could ve cut Milky Milky Milk and the album wouldn t have suffered one bit.

The song is almost five minutes long and features barely more than Cyrus distorted voice spluttering milky milky milk over and over. It doesn t add any sonic intrigue that s unique from the rest of the tracklist, and its glitchy electronic effects are far more vexing than cool.

Worst offense: The first seven seconds are the worst, which makes you want to press skip as soon as the song starts.

Saving grace: Your lips get me so wet While I m singing all the verses from the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

I m So Drunk also should ve been cut from Dead Petz because it brings nothing to the table — not because it s five minutes of nothing, but because it s only seconds of nothing. The album didn t need a glorified interlude that s just the same meaningless lyric repeated five times.

Worst offense: That wasn t a joke. It s literally the same meaningless lyric repeated five times: I m so drunk, I can t even explain what I feel right now. If you can t explain it, don t bother including it!

You could argue that Cyrus feature on wasn t wrong because it s Mike WiLL Made-It s song, so he clearly enjoyed her contributions. That s probably true, in a technical sense. But her feature was certainly wrong in a more spiritual sense.

The song sounds like everything else Mike WiLL s touched and turned to gold No Lie, Bandz a Make Her Dance, Pour It Up so it will be a smash but, much to Miley s chagrin, it won t be because of her, Danielle Cheesman wrote for MSN. All she did was smartly hitch her star to a tune that falls in line with a still-celebrated trend.

SMS Bangerz is just Cyrus doing way too much for almost three minutes straight, except for the section that s dedicated to Spears sounding very confused as to how she got there.

Saving grace: This album is admittedly full of f—ing bangerz, so at least it wasn t an empty promise.

In terms of production, x is sort of fun, like an outlaw crashing a hoedown. But it doesn t take long for it to get annoying.

I doubt anyone likes this song enough to listen to the entire thing. I can get through the first verse and chorus before my eyes begin to roll. Round and round, indeed.

Saving grace: Alt-J sampled the best lyric in this song I m a female rebel, can t you tell? in Hunger of the Pine.

Love Money Party, featuring Big Sean, is another example of Cyrus trying and failing to rap.

Money ain t nothing but money, Cyrus declares at the top of this track. Also, Love ain t nothing but love, and then, When you party every day, it ain t nothing but a party.

This contradiction sums up the haphazard energy of Love Money Party. Beyond lyrics, Cyrus sounds cluttered and confused the entire time, like she isn t quite sure what to do with this production, or her own tongue, or Big Sean popping up for no reason.

Worst offense: Lyrics like I don t give a damn if you sitting on a trill just reek of minstrelsy.

Saving grace: In more capable hands, Mike WiLL Made-It s grimy, haunted-house beat could ve been a real treat.

The deluxe version of Bangerz should ve ended with On My Own. What a peculiar decision to close such a multicolored, rousing, roller-coaster tracklist with the most phoned-in, lifeless club song ever.

Saving grace: It s kind of cute to hear a longtime star sound awed by her own life: I remember dreaming bout the things I do right now Like I climbed onto a cloud.

You d think an artist would want an album s opening track to be inviting, but instead, Cyrus decided to drive people away. Liberty Walk begins with an instant, high-pitched assault on your eardrums and never redeems itself.

Worst offense: Well, alright Yeah, yeah We gonna get it When we live it, live it. Who wrote this? I just wanna talk.

Saving grace: Lyrically, this song kind of serves as a prelude to Can t Be Tamed. If only some of that song s greatness had rubbed off on this one.

Cyrus does her best imitation of Wake up in the morning, feeling like P Diddy on Permanent December, but only manages to sound like an unemployed Kesha impersonator.

Saving grace: The title makes me think of Back to December and Remember December , which makes me giggle because Cyrus, Swift, and Demi Lovato all released songs about December within a -month time period.

As a self-described -year-old deep emo country a– sweetheart, Cyrus songwriting was far more touching on songs like Stay and Scars. But the forced sincerity of Forgiveness and Love falls flat.

Worst offense: The clunky phrase forgiveness and love is repeated nine whole times. That s just excessive.

The Time of Our Lives is extremely uneven for a collection of just seven songs, but Talk Is Cheap is definitely its lowest low. The song kicks off with some childish ad-libs and never ventures into more mature or interesting territory.

Saving grace: If people search Talk Is Cheap on Spotify, they might choose to click on Chet Faker s song instead.

I know this will be a controversial selection, but I could never get past the nails-on-a-chalkboard effect of a creepy little, sneaky little, or the equally grating delivery of fly on the wall. I hate the way it sounds, and I m not sorry.

On principle, I reject the sexist implications of the New York Times calling this song a ditzy cry for the environment with a cheerleader chorus. But, uh, that description is not wrong.

Wake Up America has a worthy goal, with Cyrus encouraging fans to give the earth a little attention — but it has the energy of some Disney executive snickering in a boardroom, writing a protest song in a way that he thinks tween girls will understand. The lyrics are dumbed down to an insulting level.

Worst offense: Everything I read s global warming, going green I don t know what all this means But it seems to be saying Wake up, America, which sounds like the script from a climate change PSA starring Derek Zoolander.

Saving grace: Much like this song’s older sister Inspired, the delivery is bad but the message is good.