I agree that she's very underrated. I put it to her very often featuring on other singers' songs in mostly the same way. The first time I saw an other side of her was in Grand Piano. There are other gems on that album, such as Bed of Lies, featuring Skylar Grey. Those were never singles, so are not very well known, unfortunately. I can't seem to add links after the first so I'll just leave Grand Piano here. Overall, I think her singles are very limitative as to her whole range.
I fully agree! The song is blah, the video has too much Ariana and too little Lana. Miley seems to work the best, but soon becomes a bit cliché. I kind of wish, weak as the song is, that we could have three different versions, by each singer, we'd have three very different stories despite the same lyrics.
Love it too. She has a very strong history of covers, among my favourites are Blue Velvet and God Knows I Tried, she's also had at least a song covered, Gods and Monsters, amazing version in American Horror Story performed by Jessica Lange.
Well, I'd say in good part it could be that singles (that make it on the radio) are far from a good showcase. But I do think she's an acquired taste, and it's taken me a few listen of her albums to really get into them, and end up loving most songs. What I like is that often each song tells a story, like a short novel, or a short movie. She has cited among her influences David Lynch, and it's easy to see why. She also has a very wide vocal range, spanning IIRC three octaves.
I give you Off to the Races, for the David Lynch cinematic vibe and High by the Beach, for a very different vibe: