Wednesday night’s episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon featured an energetic, bright, and levelheaded Miley Cyrus, who both guested and performed. This marks the first talk show performance from Miley since the release of her latest singles, “Malibu” and “Inspired“. Fans of the Bangerz star were eagerly and nervously awaiting the follow-up to Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, a hippy themed, psychedelic sounding album which was made in collaboration with Big Sean, members of The Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, and others. Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz left most fans bewildered and apathetic towards Cyrus’ distinctively strange persona, one that seemed to care less about making good music and more about alienation from the mainstream.

But since the arrival of “Malibu“, the first single from Cyrus in two years, the former-Disney star has already rejuvenated her image by a huge margin by returning to her alt-country roots. Comparisons have already been drawn to Lady Gaga’s most recent album Joanne, which successfully blended pop, rock, and folk genres. “Malibu” continues to linger in the Top 5 on iTunes, and the top 10 on Spotify’s U.S Top 50 Chart. And for those of you who have yet to be won over by Miley’s hot single, we suggest watching her performance of “Malibu” from The Tonight Show below:

If you were worried that a couple of scandalous years would’ve done a number on Miley Cyrus’ pipes, then this Tonight Show performance likely eased many, if not all of your fears. By stripping down the alt-rock arrangement down to drums, banjo, acoustic guitar, and fiddle, Miley was able to showcase her vocals more than ever, which appeared to be bombast and full of heartfelt urgency to relay the message of “Malibu”, which is rumored to be about fiancee Liam Hemsworth.

Following “Malibu”, Miley Cyrus went into full ballad mode with her most recent single, “Inspired“, which draws on the vocal styles of Loretta Lynn and EmmyLou Harris. The spare arrangement serves Miley well, as she is able to leap and transcend with her far reaching voice. This all resulted in a remarkable display of artistry and performance. Miley Cyrus proved, hands down, that she is back with a thirst to make and perform meaningful music, songs that aren’t too far on the left and instead aim to relate to everyone.

Though Miley Cyrus hasn’t announced the official release date of her upcoming album, we’re hopeful that we’ll at least be getting a few more singles over the course of the Summer. Until then, enjoy the return of Miley Cyrus, who has revisited her roots to make quite the comeback.

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