Powerful, polarizing, and prolific are just a few of the words to describe Miley Cyrus. For almost two decades, the pop star has created a body of work that spans across genres — touching on everything from pop to country to trap and everything in between. 

Each album in her 16-year discography is a singular force. Whether she’s breaking free of her early beginnings as a Disney Channel star or suddenly embracing trap music, with every release, Cyrus continues to push sonic boundaries. She’s morphed into a mature, dynamic, and fearless artist that is a true sonic shapeshifter that truly can’t be tamed.  

On the release of her new album Endless Summer Vacation, we dive into Cyrus’ genre-bending discography — including EPs and albums — in its entirety.

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10. Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, 2015

As a psych-pop record, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is her most experimental record. Trippy and triumphant for what it achieved, the record is freeing and euphoric, embracing Cyrus’ own messy journey and how that translates sonically. Coming in at 92 minutes, the project is lengthy. But Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was actually a mindset shift for Cyrus; an album where she truly could do — and say — whatever she wanted (“Our lips get me so wet / While I'm singing all the verses from the Tibetan Book of the Dead”). At its core, it’s a self-confident and empowering LP that proves you never know where an artist could be taking you next. 

9. Can’t Be Tamed, 2010

In what was meant to be Cyrus’ fully-fledged attempt at solidifying herself as a mature artist, “Can’t Be Tamed” was a formulaic pop project that was quite similar to her previous album Breakout, with more surface-level pop tracks than emotional depth.

Still, the album’s title track touched on Cyrus’ own fishbowl experience of fame, exploring a desire to break free from the weight of public pressure and scrutiny. Sitting between Breakout and Bangerz, “Can’t Be Tamed” was the push Cyrus needed to reflect on what type of artist she wanted to be and how she wanted to pursue it. As listeners eventually would hear on Bangerz, Cyrus took the critical failing of Can’t Be Tamed to forge her own voice and unique sound.

8. She Is Coming, 2019

Cyrus received some criticism on Bangerz and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz for only selecting certain aspects of genres, She Is Coming proved to be a seamless blend of musical influences while still sounding like its own unique body of work. The EP is pop-focused with infusions of R&B, trap, and rock, bringing forth a very different sound to her last EP, 2009’s The Time Of Our Lives.

She Is Coming is a bit of whiplash after the softer tones of its predecessor Younger Now and the blistering Plastic Hearts. If anything, She Is Coming shows how Cyrus approaches her artistry. Nothing is overly calculated; instead, she leans into whatever she feels like doing — even if that means including a slightly jarring collaboration with RuPaul. She is just being Miley, after all. 

7. Meet Miley Cyrus, 2007

Meet Miley Cyrus doesn’t hold back even if it is a sanitized, squeaky-clean Disney debut. The album is a synth-driven pop record with songs that recall fellow Disney star Hillary Duff’s first major release — with no tracks that could offend parents but could be enjoyed by many. With eight out of 10 songs on the record co-written by a then 14-year-old Cyrus, Meet Miley Cyrus serves as an introduction to audiences that only knew of her as her Hannah Montana counterpart. 

“See You Again” is the obvious single from the album, which remains a fan-favorite that Cyrus regularly performs to this day. In addition, the Fefe Dobson-penned hit "Start All Over" and the sassy rock track "East Northumberland High" prove to be standouts for their succinct blend of sickly, sweet teen-pop.

6. Plastic Hearts, 2020

After exploring the sounds of psychedelics, pop, and country, it was only a matter of time before Cyrus leant her vocals to the glam rock genre. As a complete kaleidoscope of everything Cyrus released prior, she pulled inspiration from the likes of Metallica to pop queen Britney Spears to everything in between on Plastic Hearts.

“Midnight Sky” is the album’s standout, a clear nod to Cyrus’ love of Stevie Nicks and her track “Edge of Seventeen,” whereas Miley holds her own when performing opposite of rock Gods Billy and Joan Jett on “Nightcrawling” and “Bad Karma,” respectively. Plastic Hearts further proves that Cyrus is a musical chameleon; adapting to whatever state of mind she’s in and crafting music that best represents that mindset.

5. Younger Now, 2017

Ten years following the release of her Hannah Montana-Miley Cyrus debut double album, she finally shared what her fans had long-been waiting for: a country-pop and rock-infused record. Younger Now is a stark departure from the psych-pop, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. With Younger Now Cyrus is at the top of her songwriting game at 24, reflecting on her career thus far on the title track and wholly embracing everything she’s been through and every mistake she’s made along the way.

Although some fans may have craved Bangerz part two after she experimented with Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, Younger Now isn’t a retreat after adventuring in other genres, but an album that is a snapshot of where Cyrus was at the time. With stripped-down tracks like "Malibu," an ode to then-fiancé Liam Hemsworth, and legitimizing bisexual and pansexual experiences on “She’s Not Him,” Younger Now is Cyrus doing what she does best: writing and creating the music she wants to make, not buckling to outside pressure.

4. The Time Of Our Lives, 2009

For a seven-track EP, The Time Of Our Lives is a body of work that Cyrus may have described as a mere transition between Breakout and Can’t Be Tamed, but the songs are some of her best-known tracks to date. Although the EP was released as part of a promotion to support a clothing line, Cyrus still managed to craft a collection that shows her artistic growth. 

As Cyrus began to shift into more mature themes lyrically on Breakout, “The Time Of Our Lives” continues on that same theme, embracing the uptempo pop sounds heard on the past record. “Party In The U.S.A.” can still be heard on Fourth of July events across the country, whereas the power ballad “When I Look at You” showcases the breadth of Cyrus’ vocal ability. What was (and still is) Cyrus’ greatest move on this EP was the inclusion of the Jonas Brothers' country-pop collaboration, “Before The Storm,” giving feverish fans a taste of a long-awaited Miley and Nick duet.

3. Bangerz, 2013

Bangerz was a powerful rebirth for Cyrus. Gone was the long blond Montana wig and the sweet pop tunes: Bangerz was the singer’s R&B-influenced fourth album. Equal parts fearless and gritty, Bangerz reintroduced Cyrus as an A-list pop star and succeeded in doing what Can’t Be Tamed attempted to do by proving Miley’s maturity and growth since leaving Disney.

“We Can’t Stop” became the club scene’s own provocative anthem and Cyrus’ distinct departure from albums past with lyrics like “To my homegirls here with the big butts/Shaking it like we at a strip club” and “Everyone in line in the bathroom/tryna get a line in the bathroom.” Even with the party tracks, Bangerz showcased Cyrus’ powerhouse vocals in their prime.. Who can ever forget the sky-soaring ballad “Wrecking Ball” and the intimate tearjerker “Adore You”?

2. Endless Summer Vacation, 2023

Where much of her previous records sounded like Cyrus was restless and untethered at times, Endless Summer Vacation sounds like she is basking in the sun. The record is equal parts peaceful and powerful; she’s settled into who she is as an artist and as a person. As a newly minted 30-year-old, songs like "Jaded" and "Rose Colored Lenses" demonstrates the perspective she has as she looks back in retrospect on her chaotic twenties.

But rather than taking a sharp turn away from the more experimental records that she's released, Endless Summer Vacation captures the essence of Cyrus' entire discography while still giving nods to the different genres she's dabbled in, as heard on tracks like "River" and "Handstand." It may not be as jaw-dropping as when she first released Bangerz and "We Can't Stop," but Endless Summer Vacation is a perfect reflection of the artist she is today.

1. Breakout, 2008

Aptly titled as Cyrus began shifting from her Hannah Montana counterpart and solidifying herself as an artist in her own right, Breakout is a pitch-perfect pop record. Although it’s not a huge departure from her debut, with a pop-rock thread tying together all the tracks, Cyrus explores more mature themes in her lyrics and embraces coming-of-age. It’s an album that is cohesive while still blurring the lines sonically without completely turning off the audience that was, at the time, growing up with her. 

Cyrus was years ahead of her time on a track like “Wake Up America” where she discusses climate change and explored the complexities of death and loss when she found the inspiration to write “Bottom of the Ocean” after her pet fish died — something that would inspire her further on Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. Even at 15, Cyrus’ guttural performance on the Nick Jonas-inspired diss-track “7 Things” or the power-ballad song “The Driveway” proved that Miley was much more than just another Disney singer.