Album Review: Miley Cyrus—”Bangerz”

By Sian Last

Alright Miley fans and “hataz,”  I’m going to do something a little crazy: I’m going to spend this review talking about – wait for it – not Ms. Cyrus’ body or tattoos or the fact that she rode a wrecking ball naked (which must have been so cold), but her music—her new album Bangerz, to be specific.

Though I do believe that, as Miley herself said, she can “do more than twerk and lick things,” any propensity for song writing was underutilized on this album. The majority of this album’s lyrics are nothing short of juvenile that discuss hard-hitting issues such as waiting in line for club bathrooms, “dropping so fast” you might piss yourself (hey man, Miley’s words, not mine), and practicing various expletives in different contexts. Even the songs that do have a catchy melody and some palpable emotion are ruined by over-production; I know I may lose major indie points for this, but Wrecking Ball actually has some legitimate chops when performed acoustically (go watch the SNL performance for proof). Unfortunately, these occasional glimmers of promise are left unappreciated when shoved next to filler, like “Love, Money, Party,” which just reiterates that “money ain’t nothin’ but money.”  Yes, Ms. Cyrus, that is correct.

In “4×4,” Cyrus claims to be a female rebel, a comment I assume is inspired by the press surrounding her newly sexualized image.  However, this album is rebellious by strictly mainstream and commercial standards.  Every aspect of the album reiterates lyrical, melodic, and rhythmic themes already seen in the works of Rihanna, Madonna, and Britney Spears – and by this I mean that this album is just a mixture of synth ballads, pop songs, and sexual club beats.  In this sense, the album is wildly successful in producing money-making music, but not in creating any sense of artistic individuality, like Cyrus claims. In fact, Cyrus’ unique voice is the only thing that can remotely set this album apart from her contemporaries.

I have to say—third wave feminist or not—Cyrus clearly has three things working for her: a mastery of her own voice, thick skin, and the knowhow to get people talking.  As this is an album review, I won’t comment on any other aspect of Cyrus’ recent press other than to say, despite all the feminist jargon denouncing and praising her, with mediocre lyrics and melodies, Bangerz debuted with top chart spots in every Western-pop-praising-country.  In this sense, Miley did #GETITRIGHT.

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