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Miley Cyrus - 'The Climb'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:37 UK time, Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Miley CyrusEver had that thing where one song is so associated with a particular title in your head that you automatically assume that any other song by the same name is a cover, however unlikely that may be?

For some reason I was convinced this was going to be a cover of 'The Climb' from No Doubt's 'Tragic Kingdom' album, even though deep down I knew the very idea of such a thing was daft. The same way I half-expected Nelly Furtado's 'Maneater' to be a cover of the Hall & Oates classic, I suppose (though in my defence, Nelly Furtado has since said that the H&O song was an influence in the creation of hers, so it's not like I was way off track...)

Anyway - 'The Climb', which has nothing to do with a No Doubt song of the same name, is taken from Hannah Montana: The Movie. I've not seen the film (yet), but I'd be willing to bet that it plays about two thirds of the way through at a point where Miley/Hannah has just had to make some kind of Very Difficult Decision, the outcome of which will ultimately be Heartwarming.

(Here's the video. Guitar roadie FAIL.)

I mean, it sounds like that kind of song, in that it sounds like a number of other songs (more often than not penned by Diane Warren and/or for an American Idol winner to sing) which detail somewhat generically how life is a journey which is difficult but rewarding.

However, while there may not be anything hugely revelatory in the lyrics, there's one line I just want to talk about a little bit.

"It's always gonna be an uphill battle/Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose" - again, not really grounds to give the great thinkers of our age any sleepless nights, but I like that in this song which is about plugging away at things, the writers have slipped in a little bit about how it's fine not to succeed sometimes, that the occasional setback isn't the end of the world. It's not a bad lesson to pop into the heads of the various tweens who hang onto Miley's every word. "It's all about the climb", indeed.

Stepping away from Self Enrichment Corner, Miley acquits herself well vocally - there are moments where her voice sounds a tad strained, but it's good to hear her on a track that's a little more subdued and with less frantic production than the uptempo, sassy pop songs we're used to.

I'll hold my hands up and admit that I much prefer the sassy Miley of 'See You Again' / 'Fly On The Wall' fame to this slightly gloopy, wise Miley, but as eleven o'clock numbers go, this is a creditable enough job.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: April 27th
BBC Music page

(Steve Perkins)



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