Disney welcomes Miley Cyrus back via Disney+

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | Miley Cyrus got her start as a child star on Disney Channel before revamping her personal brand in 2012.

Maria Werner | Staff Writer

March 16, 2023

Hardcore “Hannah Montana” fans just received new content, available now on Disney+.

Miley Cyrus’s newest album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” has been added to the library as a 42-minute documentary performance, complete with commentary from the singer-songwriter and a revival of her 14-year-old song, “The Climb.”

The special hit the streaming platform on Friday, March 10 and was saturated with nostalgia.

Because there was no audience present at this Backyard Session, the mansion setting and mountainous background gave viewers an intimate “concert for one.”

As the performance progressed, the sunset was visible in the scenic background, giving Cyrus’ performance of “The Climb” a whimsical backdrop.

Despite its popularity with more than 672 million streams, Cyrus did not open with the hit song “Flowers,” but instead opened with “Jaded.” Cyrus spoke about the new LP, saying that the album felt like a perfectly-fitting “Cinderella’s shoe.”

“Jaded” reflects on the unspoken and lasting feelings that remain after a relationship ends. The song set a meaningful tone in the album, showing viewers that this is not a typical album about romance – it’s about Cyrus finding herself.

“Endless Summer Vacation represents, to me, my fearlessness when it comes to experimenting, not just with my sound but also with my identity,” she explained. “It feels like it’s only mine, and it could only be mine.”

The album proved to be a passion project for Cyrus, as she described each song’s inspiration. “Thousand Miles,” was originally a song of mourning for a friend who had lost her sister to suicide.

“I couldn’t imagine not having my little sister in my life, so I wrote this song for her,” she reflected. “All I wanted was for her to be happy.” The song was later reframed through a lighter lens.

“Wonder Woman,” also had familial ties, as Cyrus explained that the song was inspired by her mother and grandmother. “This song is about that kind of generational strength and wisdom,” she said. The feminine role in her family culminated to form “one big wonder woman.”

Cyrus passionately performed the LP in the backyard of the LA mansion with a full band and background vocalists. The lack of an audience gave the performance a sense of calmness and intimacy, as Cyrus performed songs that were deeply personal to her.

The singer likened her new album to “taking a vacation from taking myself and the success of records so seriously and just doing it for the reason I started writing music. Because I love it, beginning and end.”

Cyrus began her career as a child actress in 2006, as the title character of “Hannah Montana” on Disney Channel. The show ran until 2011, and during her time with Disney, she released four albums.

After the show’s conclusion, Cyrus didn’t remain in the acting scene for long, as her few additional performances included smaller roles and guest appearances on shows such as “Two and a Half Men” and “Black Mirror.”

In 2013, Cyrus began her adult music career with “Bangerz,” which featured “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop.”

Since then, she’s released five additional albums that stray from her original country sound and family-friendly image.

Unfortunately, Cyrus has been the subject of scrutiny over the years, as she faced overwhelming pressure to be a role model to younger audiences. Separating herself from the adolescent image that Disney gave her, she began to behave controversially, acting questionably during her 2013 VMA performance with Robin Thicke.

Since then, the evolution of Cyrus’s musical talents has become clear through the Backyard Sessions.

“The journey is usually the part that you remember, anyway,” the singer commented, reflecting on her love for singing and songwriting.

During her performance of “The Climb,” it was obvious that Cyrus’ voice had matured and her sound had grown with the lyrics of the 14 year old single. She sang with emotional conviction that created a nostalgic reconnection for many.

The singer ended the live session with the song made popular by social media, “Flowers,” reemphasizing the growth that she had experienced in her musical career as well as her personal life.

Overall, the reconnection between Cyrus and Disney was emotional, especially for those who were privy to her history. The Backyard Sessions allowed audiences to see Cyrus through another lens and watch the singer come back into her own.