Miley Cyrus is a household name in this generation. She began her career as the innocent and talented pop sensation Hannah Montana but has morphed so far away from her past identity that we can almost hear Montana yelling, “sweet nibblets!” Just recently, Miley, who will turn 21 in a about a month, made headlines across the world with her provocative performance on the 2013 VMA Music Awards. If you haven’t seen this performance, then you must not use the Internet, watch television, or speak to anyone. I have numerous professors who have seen her “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” mash-up with Robin Thicke. For someone who has been a fan of Miley Cyrus from the beginning, I was even confused and even a little violated. Let’s not even discuss the foam finger…
This “new” Miley is portrayed in her recently released album, Bangerz. Cyrus’ album received countless favorable reviews from music critics and has topped the charts. Produced by up-and-coming Mike Will Made It and featuring guest vocals of artists such as Nelly, Future, and Big Sean, this album is far from the Miley we all knew five years ago. There is no “Best of Both Worlds” or “Hoedown Throwdown” featured within these tracks. Each song has its own style and ranges from slow ballads like “Adore You” to dance music like “Love, Money, Party”.
Cyrus has writing credit on all but four of the sixteen songs included in the deluxe version of Bangerz. The first single off the album and one of my favorites “We Can’t Stop,” recounts a series of actual nights that Cyrus experienced. The single created a lot of controversy with its lyrics of “dancing with Molly” (the popular drug) and concept of heavy partying. When Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live to promote the release of her album, she and SNL cast member Taran Killam created a parody video where they portrayed John Boehner and Michele Bachmann in “We Did Stop (the Government)”. It seems that “we can’t stop” this song.
I admire Cyrus, but not for her lyrical writing. For the first time we hear Miss Cyrus rap on “Do My Thang” and I can’t help but think of Nicki Minaj. The lyrics “I’mma do my thing” are repeated with some versus from Miley that don’t amount up to really anything. It sounds like random sentences thrown together. The song is similar to “We Can’t Stop” with its partying lyrics and references to drugs such as “getting wild up in here” and “oh shoot, pass that shit around”. Track 10 titled “FU” featuring French Montana sounds like circus music mixed with rap and digitalized vocals from Cyrus. Lyrics featured in these songs are ones that we have never heard from Cyrus before. She has no problem cursing and going against everything she was probably taught when working with the Disney Channel. Miley may want to break away from her previous image and create new, but I’m not sure if she is doing it the right way. And let’s not forget that Britney Spears is also featured on Bangerz in the song “SMS (Bangerz)”. I can’t help but see an amusing parallel between the two: Spears and her complete meltdowns in the past and Cyrus who may be on the verge of one.
Not all of the songs on Bangerz are wild and crazy. Most are calmer with raw lyrics that were influenced by Cyrus’ now ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth. The second single released from the album titled “Wrecking Ball” is exactly one of those: “Don’t you ever say I just walked away; I will always want you; I can’t live a lie, running for my life; I will always want you”. I can’t help but think these lyrics predicted the split of Miley and Liam, who were together since making The Last Song in 2010. The video is another interesting creation from Cyrus, as she straddles a wrecking ball while naked. Maybe the tears that came while performing this song at the iHeartRadio Music Festival a few weeks ago finally showed the pain she may be in.
I can’t say that I agree with every move Miley Cyrus has made with her life recently. I was distraught when she cut her hair, but its hair. I don’t think it hit me until the VMA performance how much she has really changed. Bangerz shows the complete 180-degree turn Cyrus has done with her musical direction. Most have simple lyrics that I could have written if I tried. Although, Cyrus did create a fun album that I know many of my friends and I do listen to. If I were to rate Bangerz, I would have to agree with Rolling Stone and give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.