Track-By-Track: Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus

Written by on March 30, 2023

Having previously covered Miley Cyrus with “Shakira and Miley Start Off 2023 Strong“, I thought it would be great to cover her newly released album Endless Summer Vacation by going through each song and detailing what stuck out to me, going from lyrics to the instrumental. So let’s dive in!

1. Flowers

“Flowers” is a spectacular choice as a preview of the album’s release. It is also the album’s first track. It fits well with the overall sentiment of the album, reminiscing on a failed relationship and moving on. The lyrics express this well throughout the song.

“We were good, we were gold

Kinda dream that can’t be sold

We were right ’til we weren’t

Built a home and watched it burn”

“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus

“Flowers” is not that complex instrumentally, but it has quite a heavy bassline to it, which I think fits well to convey the song’s emotion. This song also has a music video that provides an aspect more to the song as we see Cyrus having fun by herself, signifying her beginning to move on. “Flowers” has received a grandiose amount of success as it continues to dominate the Billboard charts since its initial release.

2. Jaded

When I first listened to this, I was very impressed with the melodic rhythm and instrumentals. The melodic rhythm takes you through an up-and-down ride which conveys well the lyrics of an unstable relationship and the regrets. We hear a lot of Cyrus’s lower register, which builds up to her higher register in the chorus and then goes back down after the chorus. The instrumental is not super clean, sounding muffled, but I see it as a well-selected artistic choice as this is about an unstable messy relationship. What is even more interesting is it sounds the cleanest at the chorus, but it makes sense with the lyrics as it is the realization of the song.

“I’m sorry that you’re jaded

I could’ve taken you places

You’re lonely now and I hate it

I’m sorry that you’re jaded”

“Jaded” by Miley Cyrus

In this track, Cyrus is going through the difficulty of still wanting someone even when they are no longer together.

3. Rose Colored Lenses

If you are following the main theme of the album, the track’s title is just like it suggests. It is the want to be happy and make a relationship last, even if it’s not what it seems, wearing rose-colored lenses to ignore the red flags. The instrumentals are similar to “Jaded”–they are not as clean and have a heavy bassline. Surprisingly, it does the opposite of “Jaded” in which the chorus is even messier. Also, a sound similar to a synthesized warning siren is heard.

“We could stay like this forever,

lost in wonderland

With our head above the clouds,

fallin’ stupid like we’re kids

Wearin’ rose colored lenses,

let’s just play pretend

Wearin’ rose colored lenses,

pretend we’ll never end

Let’s stay like this forever

(let’s just keep pretending)”

“Rose Colored Lenses” by Miley Cyrus

4. Thousand Miles (feat. Brandi Carlile)

This track really sounds like a country-pop fusion and it is such an interesting listen. The instrumental consists of raw guitar and harmonica, which fits well at is a song full of so much raw emotion. Cyrus’s lyrics reflect the confusion of wondering what went wrong in the relationship.

“I’m not always right, but still,

I ain’t got time for what went wrong

Where I end up, I don’t really care

I’m out of my mind, but still,

I’m holding on like the rolling stone

It’s a thousand miles away from anywhere”

Thousand Miles (feat. Brandi Carlile) by Miley Cyrus

Brandi Carlile adds a nice countermelody and background vocals throughout the song and works well with the tonality of Cyrus’s vocals.

5. You

The instrumentals are really soothing and harsh at the same time, which works with the main theme of the song, missing the relationship and recklessness after a relationship ends. Cyrus’s vocals are much clearer in this song. It seems that with the progression of each song, her voice becomes clearer as she gears for acceptance and moves on.

“I got some baggage, let’s do some damage

I am not made for no horsey and carriage

You know I’m savage, but you’re looking past it

I want that late-night sweet magic, that forever-lasting love

But only if it’s with you”

“You” by Miley Cyrus

6. Handstand

A very synth-heavy track with more 80s inspiration, including a record scratch. It has more of a dreamy feel and reminds me of trying to listen to a memory. The lyrics are more fantastical compared to the previous songs in the album.

“You’re questioning the science ’cause you don’t understand

How I’m doing what I’m doing in a f***ing handstand

You found it so impressive that I do it again

My other one is busy, so I use my left hand

We took it kinda fast, but you put in slow

I see your mother’s calling, and you’re hitting ignore

It’s like you saw a unicorn, you don’t understand

How I’m doing what I’m doing in a f***ing handstand”

“Handstand” by Miley Cyrus

7. River

“River” is an incredibly catchy pop-synth track. It has a lot going on instrumentally, but works well somehow. Here, Cyrus is expressing her overwhelming love for her partner and her hope for the future. While we see some of that clarity I spoke of before, there is still a mix of isolated vocals and flooding background vocals.

“Heart beats so loud that it’s drowning me out

Livin’ in April shower

You’re pourin’ down, baby,

Drown me out (ooh-ooh-ooh)

You’re just like a river (ooh-ooh-ooh)”

“River” by Miley Cyrus

8. Violet Chemistry

This track is very drum-heavy, and Cyrus utilizes much of her lower register. This is one of my favorite tracks in the album. It has such an interesting instrumental, and I won’t lie, the bass guitar solo in the bridge won me over. In this song, Cyrus expresses the existing chemistry in the relationship, but understands that it won’t last that long and wants to enjoy it for the small amount of time left.

“Figures start to dance along the figures and the shapes

Mixing all the colors like we’re making a Monet

There’s something between us that’s too major to ignore

May not be eternal but nocturnal nothing more”

“Violet Chemistry” by Miley Cyrus

9. Muddy Feet (feat. Sia)

A rock-trap blend with many distorted vocals, Sia’s voice here is used more as background vocals, similar to Carlile. Here, Cyrus uncovered the infidelity of her lover, indicating the title “Muddy Feet” and is angered at the betrayal. I really like the distortion Cyrus uses in this track. It conveys the emotion of the song well, especially with its aggressive and passionate lyrics.

“And you smell like perfume that I didn’t purchase

Now I know why you’ve been closing the curtains (uh-uh)

Get the f*** out of my house

You’re coming ’round with your muddy feet

I’m about to do something ’bout it

Yeah, I’ma have to do something ’bout it”

“Muddy Feet (feat. Sia)” by Miley Cyrus

10. Wildcard

The vocal melodies of this track are some of my favorites on the album. We get more of just pure vocals without much background vocals. In this song, Cyrus realizes that the future she imagined will likely never come and that her love for her lover is not enough to stay.

“I love when you hold me

But loving you is never enough

I’m a wildcard, oh-ooh

Loving you is never enough

I’m a wildcard, oh-ooh

Forever may never come”

“Wildcard” by Miley Cyrus

11. Island

Correlating to the title, “Island” has heavy tropical drums, the sound of the ocean, and a smooth vocal melody. Cyrus, in this song, is dealing with the aftermath of the relationship, wondering if she did the right thing while still missing her lover. The repetition of the chorus provides a way to see the internal conflict of the decision.

“Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed in paradise?

Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed in paradise?

Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed in paradise?

Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed in paradise?

Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed in paradise?

Am I stranded on an island?

Or have I landed…”

“Island” by Miley Cyrus

12. Wonder Woman

“Wonder Woman” is a ballad track, and it is some of the rawest lyrics in a ballad that I’ve seen recently. Here, Cyrus is still hurt by the end of the relationship and is putting a strong persona in front of others. Her vocals are impeccable in this song, drawing the emotion out of you. This song has now become one of my favorite ballads for a good cry.

“Never know she’s hopeless

Only when she cries

When her favorite record’s on and she’s dancing in the dark

She can’t stop her eyes from welling up, up

She makes sure that no one’s ’round to see her fall apart

She wants to be the one that never does”

“Wonder Woman” by Miley Cyrus

13. Flowers (Demo)

It is interesting that the album ends with this track, but I think it works well for the story we’ve been following through each song. This is a rawer and sadder version of the “Flowers” we started with. Instead of the upbeat song we know, Cyrus sings with piano accompaniment. We see this with the addition of the lines “I can love me better” later in the song and her vocals progressively getting stronger by the end of the song.


Overall Endless Summer Vacation is a well-thought-out album, both instrumentally and lyrically. I appreciated the various genres mixed in throughout the album. Looking back, I believe the start of the story of the relationship started at “Rose Colored Lenses” and ended at “Jaded.”

One of my favorite albums from Cyrus is Plastic Hearts, and I can see her progression artistically since then. This was a raw and open album, and it is well worth a listen!

  • Andrea Diaz

    I'm a Senior at the University of Houston. I'm majoring in Marketing and double minoring in Public Relations and Management Information Systems. I enjoy the fine arts and love discovering new music!

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